Camlough Lake. Photograph: Columba O'HareThe Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership Community Consultation kicks of this Wednesday night in Ti Chulainn in Mullaghbane so if you have any ideas for new projects or thoughts on existing ones make sure you get along to one of the up-coming events over the next month.

Entertainment will be provided by the Ring of Gullion Comhaltas, dancing from students of Debby Maguire’s School of Dancing and there’ll also be refreshments on arrival.

Newry and Mourne District Council 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.

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, Landscape Partnership Officer said, “The heritage evenings are all about getting people living, working and visiting the area to informally chat about the Ring of Gullion’s heritage. That could be anything from butterflies to Neolithic tombs. Heritage covers a vast range of things and we really want the community to have their say.” 

He continued, “There will be an opportunity for people to comment about the projects we have, but pitch their own projects too, so it’s a great chance to move forward with that heritage project you have always wanted to do but never had the funding.”

If you miss the consultation in Mullaghbane there will be a chance for you to have your say in Forkill - 3rd July, Jonesborough – 17th July and Camlough and Bessbrook – 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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