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Attwood Announces Over £4million to Enhance Our NI Natural Heritage

A combination of large and small Natural Heritage Grants for 2013/ 2014 will be made to a number of organisations over the next five years. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency will deliver the grants for a range of projects from £5,000 to the West Belfast Partnership for an initial survey of green corridors along the urban fringe, to over a million pounds spread spent over five years across a range of longer term initiatives in the Mournes, Ring of Gullion and in the Heart of the Glens.

Commenting on the difference these grants will make Minister Attwood said: “This funding will not only improve a range of habitats for wildlife for RSPB, Ulster Wildlife and the National Trust but it will also bring tourist and economic benefit. There are multiple of opportunities.

“A selection of the projects receiving grants are: Mourne Heritage Trust will receive £1.1 million over five years to continue to provide a full range of management services for the Mourne area of outstanding natural beauty; Belfast Hills Partnership will receive £254,000 over five years to support the work of this organisation in managing the Belfast Hills; Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust will receive £240,000 over five years to carry out the Heart of the Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme; Conservation Volunteers will receive £186,000 over three years for three different projects in Northern Ireland; RSPB will receive £182,000 over three years to deliver Environmental Education at all levels in Northern Ireland and Copeland Bird Observatory will receive £61,500 over five years to manage the island for the benefit of biodiversity, bird recording and designated species of Copeland area of special scientific interest and special protection area.

“The challenges are clear. Protection and positive development of our heritage. That is the twin track strategy. Today’s funding can help this ambition.”

Jennifer Fulton, Chief Executive of Ulster Wildlife, who have been awarded a larger grant of over £1million through the Natural Heritage Grants Programme, said: “The NIEA Strategic Partnership recognizes the role Ulster Wildlife plays in creating living landscapes and securing living seas. The charity provides technical expertise and specialist management of protected habitats and species enabling local people to re-engage with nature and understand the value of our environment.”

For some, the grants offer a chance to carry out much needed research – for example the Northern Ireland Raptor Group and the Copeland Bird Observatory will be able to record protected species of birds. Other grants will enable practical work to be undertaken in vulnerable habitats from Strangford to South Sperrin, from the Glens of Antrim and Belfast Hills to Lower Lough Erne.

Source: HortiTrends News Room