The Burren Pine Project

An opportunity to be a part of a unique ecological project at Gregans Castle Hotel


The Burrenbeo Trust, Ireland’s only landscape conservation charity has announced an exclusive opportunity for people and businesses to invest in a unique ecological restoration project in Ireland’s greatest repository of natural and cultural heritage, the Burren. At Gregans Castle Hotel we are committed not only to the preservation of the Burren landscape but also to the restoration of species which are at threat of extinction. This is why we are so excited to donate a plot of land near our vegetable garden to the Burren Pine Project. Our guests have the opportunity to sponsor a Burren Pine Tree and will receive a unique identifier for your tree. Planting will take place during the winter to spring of 2022/23.



Ireland’s only known native pine

The beautiful Pinus sylvestris, Ireland’s only native pine tree, was once common in Ireland, but was believed to have become extinct 1,500 years ago. Later reintroduced from Scotland, it became commonly known as ‘Scots pine’.

However, recent research by Trinity College scientists* discovered that this native species was not entirely lost: a small stand of native pine trees continued to survive at a remote site in the east Burren, Co. Clare.

It is now accepted that this ‘Burren pine’ is Ireland’s only known truly native pine, and the Burren is its most westerly location in Europe.

*Roche (2019) Recent findings on the native status and vegetation ecology of Scots pine in Ireland and their implications for forestry policy and management. Irish Forestry 2019, Vol. 76.

An invaluable genetic resource

Further research into the genetic distinctiveness of these trees is now underway. The Burren pine has been placed on the waiting list for inclusion on the Irish Red List of Threatened Species.

It is now evident that the Burren pine trees are of high conservation value and their rarity and vulnerability increases their risk of extinction.


An initiative to bring back Ireland’s only native pine from the brink of extinction Pine was once synonymous with the Burren, dominating pollen records and archaeological excavations. We thought it was gone forever but now, with your help, we have the chance to bring it back.

Our ambition is to help restore native pinewoods in the Burren by planting 500 native pine trees per year along with native companion species.

These mini-woodlands, will be managed to act as nurseries for the native pine trees, the seeds from which will be a valuable resource for the future expansion of the species in Ireland, reducing its vulnerability to extinction.

Gregans Castle Hotel is home to one such Burren Pine Project site and we invite you to sponsor the planting of your very own native pine in this mini woodland.



Gregans Castle Hotel has donated a plot of land for the Burren Pine Project. We have ensured that this site is species-poor so there is no overall biodiversity loss.


We will source saplings grown from the seeds of the Burren pine. These seeds are collected under NPWS license.


The Burren pine saplings will be planted along with native companion species, and we will carry out regular maintenance work with the help of Burrenbeo Conservation volunteers to look after them.


We will maintain a database of trees with planting dates, location and unique identifier numbers that are shared with their sponsors.


Hold an annual event related to the pine trees for Burren Pine Project supporters.


Provide annual email updates on the new native pinewood.


Use any surplus Burren Pine Project funds to support Burrenbeo Trust’s award-winning work in connecting people to their place and planet through over 25+ annual programmes in education and conservation.

For further information on the Burren Pine Project, please visit


Sponsor planting of the Burren pine at Gregans Castle Hotel, as a gift to yourself, your family, friends or in memory of a loved one.

We invite you to sponsor the restoration of native pine tree/s in the Burren while supporting communities and conservation through the work of the local landscape charity, Burrenbeo Trust.

For every €100 invested by you The Burrenbeo Trust will:

• Plant one native pine tree along with 3-4 native ‘companion species’, covering the cost of the trees, the land on which they will grow (species-poor land, so no biodiversity loss) and their (chemical-free) maintenance.

• Issue a certificate to confirm the purchase of the pine tree(s) and its unique identifier which will be linked to a database of trees containing planting date, location, maintenance work etc.

• Invite you to participate in annual events relating to the planted trees.

• Provide an annual update (including images) of your tree(s).

• Use the remaining funds to support Burrenbeo Trust’s work in shaping a brighter future for the communities of the Burren and their special place.

CLICK BELOW to sponsor the planting of Burren pine trees at the Gregans Castle Hotel site.