Burren Free Range Pork farm is an award-winning eco-friendly, small traditional family farm located near the village of Kilfenora in the Southern part of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. The farm consists of a small number of cattle, hens, two donkeys and free-range, rare breed, Saddleback pigs. The ethos of this eco-farm business is to “produce healthy food -in a healthy environment- in a sustainable way”.
Pigs have been a part of the infrastructure of the Burren for thousands of years. A study and excavation of Glencurran Cave near Killnaboy, conducted by Dr. Marion Dowd, resulted in the findings of the remains of 15 pigs that date all the back to the Bronze Ages. Today, with the help of traditional farmers, pigs still hold a valuable place in the Geopark.
Burren Free Range Pork was initially set up by the Hegarty’s to rear cattle and sheep. In 2007, Eva joined the business and they decided to turn their focus into rearing rare breeds of free-range Saddleback pigs. Sustainability is at the heart of their farming ethos. They firmly believe in keeping everything as natural as possible: no chemical fertilisers, pesticides, and no addition of medication to the feed. All animals are hand fed and animal welfare is always their priority.
When you visit the Burren Free Range Pork farm you are greeted by its raw sense of timeless traditions and heritage. The fields of the fragmented farm are divided by limestone walls which were constructed many generations ago. The land is in sight of a well-preserved iron age ring fort, and the cattle are out wintered according to the unique winter grazing system that goes back thousands of years in the Burren.
In 2017 Burren Free Range Pork were awarded ‘The Natural Food Award’ by Georgina Campbell, and in the same year, they were also the National Winner of the Irish Breakfast Award in the category ‘Welcome Standard’ by Georigina Campbell and Failte Ireland.
You can purchase Burren Free Range Pork meats by visiting the farm by appointment or via ‘’REKO’’, a system that uses a Facebook page as a platform for advertising and ordering and a pickup at weekly collection points. Burren Free Range Pork also offer a wonderful glamping and farm experience where people will have the opportunity to meet the animals, join in on farm activities and dine on meals cooked with the Burren Free Range Pork produce.
Burren Free Range Pork Farm is located on a significant contact between the two major rock types in the Burren: the limestone to the north and sandstone and shale to the south. Between the two rock units lies a thin layer of phosphate rock. This layer, which was mined during the second world war to make fertiliser, contains the remains of millions of tiny fossil fish teeth. The soil in this area is dominated by glacial deposits which contain a complex mixture of local sandstone, shale, phosphate and limestone as well as minor pieces of quartzite and granite which were transported from South Galway by large ice sheets 20,000 years ago. This geological contact is important as a regional hydrological boundary as well, being the source of freshwater springs and caves. The villages of Corofin, Kilfenora , Lisdoonvarna and Doolin were all established along this boundary, so Burren Free Range Pork Farm is following a long tradition, as demonstrated by the abundance of ancient ring fort settlements in the area that date back more than 1,000 years.
For more information on visitor experiences and the Burren Free Range Pork story, visit www.burrenfreerangepork.com/
All Photographs by Eamon Ward Photography