The huge contribution made by volunteers of all ages in the Ring of Gullion was recognised at an award ceremony and celebration of accomplishments held in Tí Chulainn last week.
Volunteers play a key role in the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership (RoGLPS). Each year the area has seen more and more voluntary hours spent supporting various conservation projects and events. During the course of the 2016/2017 project-year, over 1,600 hours have been gifted to the Partnership.
Since the Partnership Scheme began, for example, Claire Voigt has given 200 hours of her time while Anne Fegan, Órlaith Rice and Séan Maxwell have gifted 100 hours each.
“Some volunteers can spare a few hours here and there, whereas other volunteers astound us with their dedication by regularly giving their time to their favourite projects, for example, Anne and Claire practically run our native tree nursery themselves”, said Des Murphy, Chairperson of the RoGLPS Management Board.
The celebration event also marked the achievements of the Youth Rangers in the Ring of Gullion. Each summer a group of 10 Youth Rangers spend a fortnight working alongside RoGLPS staff on practical conservation projects ranging from building new paths to bracken bashing. In return, they are taught useful outdoor adventure skills such as navigation and first aid, as well as going on adventure trips.
This year the Youth Rangers, assisted by two Junior Leaders (Youth Rangers from previous years), carried out over 350 hours of practical conservation work. During the course of the programme, all the Youth Rangers achieved their Explorer level John Muir Award and an Emergency First Aid qualification. Six Youth Rangers achieved their 50-hour Millennium Volunteer Award: Divij Prajapati, Ellie Mackenzie, John Patrick Donaghy, Oisín McClorey, Róisín Gray and Ryan O’Hanlon. Órlaith Rice achieved her 100-hour Millennium Volunteer Award and Ria Prajapati is on the verge of attaining her 200-hour Millennium Volunteer Award, volunteering for both Cancer Research and the Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership.
“It was wonderful working with such an enthusiastic group of young people for two weeks. They made an indelible mark on the landscape, particularly in Glassdrummond Wood”, said Alison Brady, Volunteer & Outreach Officer.
“It is fantastic to participate in awarding these volunteers and young people their certificates and other awards” added Roisin Mulgrew, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
“It is heart-warming to meet young people who are so enthusiastic about the Ring of Gullion area. I would like to thank the Youth Rangers and the long serving volunteers on behalf of the residents and visitors to the area for their contribution to its upkeep.” She continued.
If you would like to see some of the work that the Youth Rangers and other volunteers have carried out within the Ring of Gullion please visit the Gallery. If you’d like to get involved with volunteering please visit the Get Involved section on the website or contact Alison by email or call +4428 3082 8594.