Locals urged to make their voice heard on the future of the Burren
The Burren – What can you do? is the challenge being laid down to the communities of the Burren as part of a pioneering new initiative in participatory democracy currently underway in the region. Led by some key local organisations representing interests as varied as heritage, tourism, agriculture and community, the ‘Burren Charter’ initiative is all about communities taking control of their own destiny. All those with an interest in the Burren are being urged to take an active part in the ‘Burren Charter’ by attending a number of special events being planned in the region over the summer, or alternatively to have their say through dedicated web and facebook pages.
The Burren Community Charter project aims to develop a collective vision by the people of the Burren for the future of their place and also to look at practical, realistic steps through which this vision can be realised. ‘Instead of reacting to other peoples ideas and agendas as to what is best for the Burren, this locally-led project is working to build a proactive, community-led vision for the Burren and also striving to ensure that local communities take ownership of this vision’ according to project manager, Zena Hoctor. ‘In essence, this is a new landscape movement through which local communities are being encouraged and empowered to become architects of their own destiny’.
Ms Hoctor and representatives from a core collective of local organisations - Burren Farming for Conservation, Burren Connect, Burren IFA and Burrenbeo Trust – as well as the Heritage Officers from Clare and Galway, are working together on this Heritage Council-funded project. But Ms Hoctor emphasised that ‘without the active engagement, energy and creative input of local communities, this Burren community Charter will never succeed’. The Charter are organising family days with the help of Gordon D'Arcy engaging with the children:
24th July, Tubber Village Hall 2pm
28th August, Michael Cusack Centre, Carron 2pm
The project is also present at public events and available to talk about the Charter project. These are:
10th July, the Ardrahan Show
23rd July, Corofin North Clare Show
7th August, Gort Agricultural Show
According to Ms Hoctor, ‘These events will only really work if lots of local people show up and really start to engage with their future in the Burren and make their voices heard. We really hope that as many local people come along as possible – to encourage a range of ages and ideas, the events will feature a mixture of activities for children, displays from local schools, a specially constructed ‘talk box’ so that people can tell their visions in private, a space for discussing ideas and sharing opinions with others.
For more information on the Burren Charter Project, contact either Zena Hoctor on firstname.lastname@example.org or Brigid Barry on email@example.com
T. 091 638096.