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Aine Bird.

Coordinator, Burrenbeo.
Corofin, Co.Clare.
Story of change Aine Bird. story
"Communities can make a real impact when they feel empowered to be part of the change and are actively involved in shaping the narrative of their story”


Meet Aine, the committed coordinator of the independent charity Burrenbeo who supports communities to be stewards for the land they live on. Aine studied General Science at Galway and quickly ran away from laboratories towards the outside world and botany where her love affair with the Burren began. After a few nomadic years, the beautiful, wild landscape called her back and she started her work with Burrenbeo.

"I've been here for ten years and I love it. We are always evolving to meet the time and the needs of the community. We learn from our mistakes and celebrate our successes. It’s brilliant”

Burrenbeo facilitates conversations with communities about their place, in their place, for their place. Their mission is to empower community stewardship through critically exploring how a place has developed historically and exploring how a community can continue to positively develop their place for the future.

“My focus was always on the environmental piece but Burrenbeo looks at the richness of the whole place approach. If you consider the environment without considering the relationship of the past, the people and the culture of the place, it does it a disservice”


Every year hundreds of people celebrate ‘winterage’ and join farmers to herd cattle to the uplands (aka winterages) where the cattle will graze for the winter months. This tradition is not only key to the creation of the famous burden landscape but really encompasses what we are trying to achieve - engaging with the place, learning with place and protecting and caring for the place with the people.


Farming and farmers are a big part of the story behind Burrenbeo. Burrenbeo was originally founded to reward farmers for the work they do, not just as food producers but as custodians of their landscape. This system of rewarding farmers for ecosystem production is used as a progressive and successful case study globally.


Connect to your place and your community. Can you facilitate a space for your community to come together and have a conversation about what connects you to your place. How can you take achievable and meaningful actions together to help develop your place positively into the future.


What gives me hope is seeing people feel they can achieve something and can work together to be part of the solution - without too much pressure on anyone to try and fix it all.


PODCAST - Root and Branch. Anja Murray and Brían Mac Gloinn.
PERSON - Miles Richardson. @findingnature.

To find out more visit or follow them on Twitter - @BurrenbeoTrust or Facebook - BurrenbeoTrust