Newry and Mourne District Council has received an earmarked first-round pass¹ of £980,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme² for the Ring of Gullion project, it was announced today. The project aims to conserve built and natural heritage, increase community participation in local heritage, and increase access to and learning about the landscape and its heritage.
Development funding of £60,200 has also been awarded to help Newry and Mourne District Council progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date.
The partnership aims to address the threats and opportunities to protect the landscape of the Ring of Gullion and raise awareness and encourage local community involvement in the historic, cultural and environmental features of the Ring of Gullion. The partnership will create more opportunities for physical, intellectual and sensory access to the Ring of Gullion, and highlight its recreation potential, local culture and its internationally important biodiversity and geology. This will ensure that high quality up to date training and skills required to address the above are all available locally.
The scheme will provide training opportunities in local heritage skills and Local historical and heritage guides as well as many other opportunities for local communities to benefit from.
The Ring of Gullion is one of only a few small areas in Ireland to have so clearly retained its local identity. People have lived in the area for over 6,000 years and have expressed their feelings about the landscape through the ages in local literature, poetry, music, folk history and art. This thriving cultural heritage has survived to the present day. The shared traditions of the people, in their virtually enclosed landscape with its historic frontier, have forged a unique culture which is warm, friendly and welcoming.
Darren Rice Ring of Gullion Officer said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support. This partnership will provide educational and community benefits that are of interest to everybody in the Ring of Gullion. The Council would also like to thank everyone involved in the application; a fantastic team effort.”
Explaining the importance of HLF’s support, Paul Mullan Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland, said:
“The Ring of Gullion is one of the most distinctive landscapes in Ireland. This project seeks to reconnect people and place as well as helping to open up an area which has been overlooked for many years. With the Landscape Partnership scheme we will see many exciting initiatives being developed to encourage a greater appreciation and understanding of the area.”
To keep up to date with this project and other projects in the Ring of Gullion visit www.ringofgullion.org and follow us on social media.