There are seven Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Landscape Partnership Schemes (LPS) either in the Development or Delivery Phase right now in Northern Ireland; they are a significant catalyst for positive change. Two of them are in Newry, Mourne and Down District Council; The Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion LPS. Between them they employ eight staff and have secured upwards of £4.4 million funding.
Landscape Partnership Schemes put heritage conservation at the heart of rural and peri-urban regeneration. Local, regional and national organisations work together to make a real difference to landscapes and communities for the long term. They do this by conserving habitats at landscape-scale, promoting joined-up management, reviving long-lost skills, and much more.
Delegates from the Heritage Lottery visited the Ring of Gullion last week to see the positive impact the LPS is having on the community. Sir Peter Luff, Chair of HLF, together with Paul Mullan, HLFNI CEO, Martin McDonald, HLF Board Member and Angela Lavin, HLF Casework Manager visited Mullaghbane Primary School, Jonesbourgh Community Wood, The Red Squirrel Group, the Clanrye Group and met up with the Ring of Gullion Chair Des Murphy.
Sir Peter Luff said: “It is wonderful to be here to meet with the local schoolchildren and volunteers who are helping to make the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership scheme such a success.
“Northern Ireland is well known for its iconic landscapes, and it is with thanks to National Lottery players that we can protect and open up these natural heritage assets for everyone to enjoy.”
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chair Councillor Gillian Fitzpatrick said, “It was great for the partners and stakeholders to have the opportunity to share with HLF directly the difference that Heritage Lottery Funding has made to our communities.” She continued “All of the projects that have been initiated through the investment made by the Heritage Lottery Fund, are having a positive and expanding influence on our local communities.”
The Landscape Partnership in south Armagh, as well as all the other LP areas in Northern Ireland, has been a significant catalyst for positive change. And in south Armagh in particular it has been a game changer. The Landscape Partnership Scheme has begun the process of creating a new legacy of cooperative regeneration, building on a shared heritage for a sustainable future.