This paper examines the entwined nature-culture relationship within the context of the Burren. The Burren, situated on the west coast of Ireland, is a high value landscape in terms of both its natural and cultural diversity. It is also a deeply humanised landscape, with archaeological evidence of human settlement going back over 6000 years. Consequently, the landscape and, 'nature' that we are attempting to conserve in the Burren today, is as much a product of the hand of its agrarian 'craftsmen and women', as it is due to a combination of environmental factors. In recent years changes in farming systems, along with depopulation, have had an important impact on the Burren's landscape, ecology and society. After exposing the temporality of the landscape, the paper addresses issues of contemporary landscape protection and management practices on the ground. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.