The first step has been taken towards the creation of a plan for the future of the Sperrins.
More than 70 delegates, drawn from across the community, special interest groups, as well as the public and private sectors, participated in the ‘Future Search’ conference which was organised jointly by four local councils - Causeway Coast & Glens, Derry City & Strabane, Fermanagh & Omagh and Mid Ulster - whose districts all include parts of the mountain range.
The conference considered the history and heritage of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, together with current issues across a wide of range themes, from community and the environment to infrastructure and tourism.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Kim Ashton, said:
“This conference brought together a diverse group of people with one thing in common: a genuine interest in the future of the Sperrins.
“Landowners, farmers, local residents, sports club members, tourism and environmental groups, councils, central government departments, agencies and businesses have all been represented and, while there were many different perspectives in the room, the overwhelming response has been positive from all who attended.
“We can now look forward to taking the next steps towards realising the potential of the Sperrins”.
The Future Search conference took place from Wednesday 27 to Friday 29 September 2017 in the Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown.
The organising Councils will now draft a conference report and outline action plan for stakeholder consultation.