The Burren is a very exciting place
to those interested in plants.
The warmth the limestone gives and the shelter plants receive in
the fissures in the rocks mean that Alpine plants and plants from
as far south as the mediterranean grow side by side. There are
many rare and protected plants growing here.1100 out of the 1400
species of plants found in Ireland as a whole are found here.
The geography of limestone ,which formed from the shells
of sea cratures at the
bottom of the sea 300 million years ago which then were compressed
into rock by their own weight, underlies most of Ireland, but in the
Burren (In Irish Boireann meaning "rock") a huge area, some
500 sq miles of it, were scraped clean of topsoil by glaciers
some 15,000 years ago. Water easily perculates thought the
limestone surface, leaving the surface dry, and beneath the surface
it forms underground rivers, carving out caverns and caves.
One river only runs out to sea on the surface, and it is the Caher
There are also small vanishing lakes, called Turloughs,
which are fed from water below ground and can simply vanish overnight!