The Ring of GullionThe Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Scheme was launched by Mickey Ruanne, Mayor, Newry and Mourne at the Slieve Gullion Courtyard on Friday past.

Newry and Mourne District Council have received an earmarked first-round pass of £980,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through its Landscape Partnership (LP) programme for the Ring of Gullion project.

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.

The launch on Friday was for the development funding of over £71,000 which has been awarded to help Newry and Mourne District Council progress their plans to apply for a full grant at a later date in early 2014. NIEA is continuing in it’s support of the area by already committing £129,000 match funding for phase two of the project, 2014-2018.

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.

Mayor Councillor Michael Ruane Said, “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. It’s great news for the district and I encourage everyone with an interest in heritage to contact Darren Rice.”

Paul Mullan from Heritage Lottery Fund added his encouragement to the Council as they develop their Landscape Partnership project “Our Landscape Partnership programme enables local communities to rediscover and engage with the heritage on their doorstep, and by connecting a host of interested partners the long term future of the landscape can be secured. The Ring of Gullion contains some of the most stunningly beautiful and interesting landscape Northern Ireland has to offer, so we were delighted to support the initial proposal. We would encourage everyone to get involved and help the project team to develop their plans so they can conserve and celebrate the unique natural, built and cultural heritage of the area. 

Darren Rice, the Landscape Partnership Officer for the scheme said, “If you are interested in finding out more information about the Landscape Partnership Scheme please contact me and I can tell you more about the themes, activities and events we will be covering.” He continued, “It is really important that at this early stage we hear from local communities and hear what people value about the landscape and what they want to conserve. This all needs to go into the action plan so we can draw down funds to work on projects.

There will be a number of events over the coming weeks to allow community groups and individuals to come together to input in the application.”

These include:

Mullaghbane, Music and Heritage on the 26th June

Forkill, Story and Place on the 3rd July 

Jonesbourgh – From Here to There on the 17th July 

Camlough – Industrial Heritage 24th July

There will be an opportunity on the 28th of August for everyone to see the final list of proposed projects and have their say on them. 

Darren can be contacted on 02830868900 or .To keep up to date with this project and other projects in the Ring of Gullion visit and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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