New action plan for Ring of Gullion launched

Declan McAteer Posted by
Saturday, December 24th, 2011

A new action plan for the Ring of Gullion area was launched this month by Environment Minister Alex Attwood. The Ring of Gullion Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Management Action Plan 2011-2016 has commenced in the area with projects such as repairing the footpath at Slieve Gullion already underway. The Ring of Gullion also played host to a number of other initiatives in the summer such as family days out, historical bus tours, rambles and other events.

Speaking at a launch event earlier this month, Environment Minister Alex Attwood said, “I am pleased to launch the Ring of Gullion AONB plan today in the heart of the AONB. While the preparation of the plan was led by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency it has depended on the contributions of many including local residents and public agencies.”

He continued, “I would like to give a special mention to Newry and Mourne District Council who has a central and very positive role in the future of the AONB. I am confident that through their AONB Officer they will support delivery of the management plan and in doing so unlock new opportunities for the area and those who live in it or visit.”

Minister Attwood added; “I am pleased to see that a number of actions contained in the Management Plan are already underway. The new path to the summit of Slieve Gullion will allow the heathland to recover by stopping erosion and also improve access to Cailliagh Berra’s House, a 6000 year old monument of which the local population is very proud.”

Also speaking at the launch event was Patrick McKeever from the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland. He enthused, “The geological heritage of the Ring of Gullion is known to geologists the world over and it is the foundation of the high scenic value of the area. But when you then add that to the area’s myths, legends and folklore and it’s rich biodiversity, you really begin to understand what a special place the Ring of Gullion really is.”

Mayor of Newry and Mourne Charlie Casey also spoke of his support for the event; “Newry and Mourne District Council is delighted to welcome everyone to the very aptly named area of outstanding natural beauty to celebrate the anniversary of its official designation as an AONB and to launch the Ring of Gullion Management Plan. The Council has a strong history working with special unique places and will fully support this Management Plans implementation.”

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