An exciting new initiative celebrating the history, heritage and beauty of the Sperrins area has been launched.
The ‘Sperrins Heritage Trails’ is an innovative portfolio of projects that combine traditional and modern mediums specifically designed to help visitors and outdoor enthusiasts to the Sperrins learn more about the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
Facilitated by the Sperrins Gateway Landscape Partnership (SGLP), the package will also encourage new sightseers to avail of the wide variety of locations and activities the Sperrins have to offer including trail walks, beauty spots and historic sites.
Using funding from a variety of sources including Heritage Lottery Fund, Rural Development Programme (2007-13)/DARD, NIEA and Landfill Communities Fund, SGLP has been able to create a bespoke programme that comprises:
41 Panels containing information on local history, heritage and geology
8 Recreational walking trails (either upgraded or specially made)
4 Heritage trails (upgraded)
2 Free information booklets featuring walks, history and heritage information
1 Custom designed free Audio Trail App
Speaking at the launch, DARD Minister, Michelle O’Neill said: “A key strength of the Rural Development Programme delivered through LEADER is the ability to support communities in their efforts to enhance their local environment and enrich their rural way of life, and I’m delighted therefore that Drapers’Towns Partnership was able to avail of £100,000 funding through the RDP.
“This project facilitated the community in working with what nature has provided in order to sustain a way of life not only for themselves and their families but for generations to come.”
The Minister continued: “The new heritage trails and improvements to existing ones will contribute positively to the ongoing development of rural communities in the Sperrins area by helping to ensure that the natural, cultural and built heritage are not only well cared for and safeguarded, but will also contribute to the local rural economy by attracting tourists to the region.”
Fiona Bryant, SGLP Manager, said: “This initiative is the result of years of consultation, negotiation, and goodwill between a wide range of stakeholders and funders including the local residents, landowners and statutory agencies.
“We are delighted with the final result and believe it is a real reflection of just how much there is to see and do... the trails are here to be used and we hope as many people as possible avail of them, take the time to read and enjoy the numerous Information Boards and immerse themselves in the history of Draperstown through the audio app.”
This initiative is the result of years of consultation, negotiation, and goodwill between a wide range of stakeholders and funders including the local residents, landowners and statutory agencies