The Burren, County Clare, Ireland
The Burren might seem like a long way to go to look at moths but it is well worth the effort. You will need to take a ferry if you are going by car with moth-traps and for one person this can be around £180 return in peak season to get across the Irish Sea. Whether you cross from South Wales, North Wales or elsewhere, prices are similar. When you get the other side it’s a couple of hours drive but accommodation can be much cheaper than in Britain. There are plenty of places to stay in nearby towns such as Kinvarra, Doolin, Ballyvaughan, or Corofin. Make sure you soak up some of the local Irish culture while you are there with the pubs, Guinness, folk music, food and festivals. The Burren is the largest area of limestone pavement in the British Isles covering 250km². It is famous for its diverse flora with over 75% of Ireland’s plant species found in the area. Archaeology is impressive with over 90 megalithic tombs. This makes for a stunning landscape of bare limestone hills sloping down to the sea.
The moth assemblage is of special importance. It is still the only place in the British Isles to see Burren Green (present in good numbers) and the Irish Annulet, plus you have the bonus of seeing Scotch Annulet nearby. It is also the best place to see the Irish Plume Platyptilia tesseradactyla. The Irish Annulet was discovered as recently as 1991 for the first time in the British Isles and even though the area is famous now for moths, you could easily discover another new species in a hidden quarter of the Burren.
Other scarce species to see in August include: Straw Belle, Royal Mantle, Chestnut-coloured Carpet, Tissue, Pretty Pinion, Pod Lover, Sweet Gale Moth, Phyllonorycter insignitella (leaf mines), Confused, Thyme Pug, Juniper Pug, Heath Rivulet, Rush Wainscot, Agonopterix astrantiae, Agonopterix pallorella, Pempeliella ornatella and Pimpinel Pug. At other times of year you can find Small Eggar, Transparent Burnet, Dew Moth, Least Minor, Pyrausta sanguinalis, Hypercailiia citrinalis and The Grey among other species. But make sure you get a licence to trap moths in Ireland via the National Parks and Wildlife Service or Moths Ireland before you visit.
The trapping is stunning and the scenery fantastic. If you’re making up a moth-trapping bucket list for the British Isles then this site must feature in the top five best sites-if not at number 1?
by Dave Grundy
All images taken by Dave Grundy
Name: An Ti Glas (the Green Cottage) and Granary apartment
Location: Crusheen, Co Clare, EIRE
Type of accommodation: Self Catering cottage and apartment
Address: Leen, Rathclooney, Crusheen, Co Clare, EIRE
Here at Leen Organics we have been growing organic vegetables since 1997. In renovating our old farm house for self-catering accommodation we have tried to offer something different for those looking to stay on a farm. An Ti Glas (the green cottage) is our attempt to realise this. We wanted to give people the chance to experience some of the things we take for granted. We have tried to bring the ethos of our farming system into the provision of the cottage. People who have stayed with us will tell you that it has worked.
In the early days the cottage was quite quiet and it took a while to build up the business. Around this time we were introduced to Ken Bond an experienced entomologist from University College Cork who was doing a moth survey for the County Clare Biodiversity Plan. He has stayed with us a number of times over the last five years and has trapped moths on our land. This gave us an interest in the huge diversity of moths out there, even on just a couple of acres.
We are about 20 minutes drive from the Burren an internationally recognised park with a unique limestone landscape. Here there is a great habitat for moths and butterflies some of which cannot be seen anywhere else in Europe. There is also great walking to be had and at certain times of year a fantastic display of wild flowers.
Please link to our website below to see photographs of what we can offer.
Proprietors: Noelle and Jason Horner