The new ‘Landscape Partnership Scheme’ created with Heritage Lottery funding to conserve and protect the Lower Sperrin plateau is to begin 2018 with a round of community consultations.
The Heart of Ancient Ulster Landscape Partnership scheme has the potential to benefit from a Heritage Lottery grant of £2M over 5 years to deliver a series of projects which will conserve and protect 144km2 of outstanding prehistoric landscape and reconnect the local community to its unique natural, built and cultural heritage.
Among the projects proposed for delivery by The Heart of Ancient Ulster Landscape Partnership working with Mid Ulster District Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and various statutory bodies is the restoration and maintenance of over 25,000 hectares of blanket and raised bog, the recruitment of volunteers to help plant 100,000 native tress, the reduction of carbon emissions from the peatland and the creation of 10km of new heritage trails.
While Round 1 funding has been secured from Heritage Lottery by the two local councils, key to the scheme’s Round 2 application is a community-led partnership, as Moira O’Rourke, Development Officer with the Landscape Partnership Scheme, explained:
“People have been living on this landscape for over 5,000 years and their invaluable knowledge paves the way to protect the environment creating and exploring new opportunities, whilst increasing tourism to the area.
“Historic monuments scatter the land and cultural traditions have been passed down from previous generations. This is an exciting time, while the project is still in its infancy and we are seeking to support and encourage community groups to come together and work collectively on themes such as built, natural and cultural heritage.
“Local people will also be able to develop their skills and avail of training and become ambassadors for the land in which they live and so we are holding a series of community consultations to allow local people to come together to hear more about what lies ahead and give their views on what projects they would like to see take place in their area as a result of the scheme”.
The consultation events will take place in:
Rowntree Centre, Pomeroy Thursday 11th Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
Broughderg Community Centre Monday 15th Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
WF Marshall Centre, Sixmilecross Thursday 18th Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
An Creagan Visitor Centre Monday 22nd Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
Galbally Community Centre Thursday 25th Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
The Patrician, Carrickmore Tuesday 30th Jan 2018 7.00/9.00pm
Greencastle Community Centre Thursday 1st Feb 2018 7.00/9.00pm
Over the last decade, HLF’s Landscape Partnership programme has provided £221million across the UK. The programme helps to forge new partnerships between public and community bodies, ensuring people are better equipped to understand and tackle the needs of their local landscapes. Grants range from £100,000 to £3million.
Thanks to National Lottery players, HLF invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about - from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. You can follow HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLFsupported or #NationalLottery.