In keeping with our sustainable development initiative model, categories have been grouped under Environmental, Economic, Social and Commercial with Corporate dealing with work activities specifically aimed at best management of the Partnership in support of delivering key work areas.

These work areas arise from the Belfast Hills business plan and represent project work to be carried out. These include events programme, planning responses, board meetings, administration and volunteer work.

 

CORE WORK PLAN

This core work plan outlines the tasks and projects which the core staff (rather than Landscape Partnership Scheme personnel) will carry out during 2016-17. In keeping with our funding agreements, these work areas arise from the 2013-2018 BHP Core Business Plan agreed in 2013.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL

Protection and management of Belfast Hills biodiversity

Invasive species work

  • Survey, record and monitor invasive species on at least one public site
  • Build up records of and report invasive species infestations at additional sites including urban fringe community wildlife sites
  • Publicise and raise awareness of invasive species on our website and newsletter including presence on community sites

Wildfire management work

  • Field test improved methodology of mapping wildfires to include recording of severity
  • Liaise with site managers and key regional and local stakeholders to agree the five year wildfire mitigation and vegetation management plan
  • Supply NIFRS with updated annual information and investigate monitoring systems
  • Encourage wildfire research in the Belfast Hills

Brownfield site restoration

  • Liaise with major site owners to investigate potential for assistance with restoration planning and implementation as such opportunities arise
  • Publicise these works
  • Monitor existing sites for biodiversity and other value

Minimise impact of waste  on biodiversity, access and recreation

  • Monitor 45 known fly-tipping sites twice a year and liaise with relevant council and other officers
  • Identify a minimum of 10 key sites suffering most from fly-tipping in terms of impact on biodiversity, access and recreation and liaise with owners to assist with designing out fly- tipping

Fringe community wildlife sites

  • Liaise with site managers and key bodies e.g. Partnership Boards, Housing Executive to assess identified community wildlife sites along the urban fringe for biodiversity interest and connectivity
  • Encourage and facilitate community recording and monitoring through events, ID materials and support
  • Carry out minor biodiversity projects on community wildlife sites such as Ash Die-Back underplanting project

Biodiversity monitoring and survey work

  • Survey grassland habitats in Cave Hill and Carnmoney as part of overall Belfast Hills grassland survey programme
  • Carry out annual 1 km square wider countryside butterfly survey
  • Carry out regular riverfly aquatic insect monitoring at key streams/rivers
  • Carry out two species surveys for priority species – e.g. narrow bordered 5 Spot burnet moth and wood white and two bat surveys with volunteers and other NGOs
  • Continue woodland health & tree disease monitoring e.g. larch surveys
  • Train and support volunteers in the above work
  • Liaise with NIEA, LBAP Forum and BAP groups

Biodiversity research work

  • Liaise with universities and other NGOs to encourage such research such as the use of BHP wildfire data in research e.g. on nesting bird populations
  • Continue use of volunteers in long term survey of meadow pipit and skylark including on burnt areas

Community recording project

  • Encourage visitors to record and pass on wildlife sightings information through publicity on website, newsletters, talks, events and other publications

Increased awareness of Belfast Hills biodiversity

Events and publicity

  • Run at least three biodiversity events
  • Feature biodiversity in every newsletter

Wildfire awareness

  • Play an active role in regional wildfire awareness plans with NIEA and NIFRS
  • Feature in website, newsletters, talks and events

Fringe community wildlife sites

  • Support with events, talks, publications and social media

 

ECONOMIC

Better planning in Belfast Hills

Monitoring of and positive input into planning processes

  • Continue to monitor planning proposals and adapt to changes in community planning as they arise
  • Assist and encourage monitoring and enforcement by regulatory bodies
  • Continue working with enforcement partners e.g. NIEA Environmental Crime, Planning Service
  • Encourage and facilitate community involvement in local planning
  • Work with local communities to make them aware of community planning changes and their implications for issues such as development, access and community greenways
  • Provide and facilitate input into consultations
  • Respond to consultations relevant to our work in the Belfast Hills

 

SOCIAL & COMMERCIAL

Improved Access and Opportunities

New paths, greenways, infrastructure and impact assessment

  • Research and plan with partners for infrastructure for new community greenways
  • Assess three main links or community greenways for infrastructural requirements

Raise awareness, interest and participation in access

  • Hold three access events
  • Hold three familiarisation trips to the hills and feature in our publicity materials

Encourage and facilitate development of recreation infrastructure in keeping with BHP recreation plan

Liaise with key partners such as Outdoor Recreation NI and SportNI on recreation development opportunities

 

Visitor services development in Belfast Hills

Installation of new brown tourism signage in the hills

  • Lobby for and assist with additional site brown signage

 

Drafting of a visitor services development plan until 2018 to outline further development and promotion beyond the implementation of the above projects in partnership with a wide range of partners

Further development of key working relationships with partners such as:-

–          NITB Greater Belfast Destination Team

–          Belfast City Council Tourism, Culture and Arts Unit

–          Lisburn City Council Tourism Development section

–          Belfast Visitor and Convention Bureau

–          Failte Feirste

–          Other neighbourhood partnerships

 

Encourage tourism-related business in the Belfast Hills as opportunities arise

Continued participation in key tourism development groups such as

–          Belfast Tourism Forum

–          Belfast Tourism Champion programme

 

Waste management in Belfast Hills

  •  Make responses to major and minor planning proposals which impact the Belfast Hills
  • Keep all interest groups informed of development proposals
  • Encourage and promote the Belfast Hills Partnership’s waste management policy as best practice
CORPORATE

Greater co-ordination of partner working

Maintain and develop partnership approach

  • Continue ongoing work with board meetings, presentations, site visits and one-to-one liaison
  • Plan, carry out and expand on major projects such as LPS (landscape partnership scheme)
  • Attend and actively input in partnership with fora such as NIPAN, Phytophora Stakeholders and Community Planning
  • Build relationships with existing and new partners through partnership work and assistance

Improve awareness of value of hills for heritage and visitor potential

  • Continue to build relationships with partnerships with bodies such as NIEA Built Heritage, tourism bodies and other new fora via staff input and attendance
  • Feature in publicity

Facilitate non-biodiversity research in the hills

  • Work with academic institutes and Science Shop to promote other research in the Hills e.g. on access, interpretation, heritage and recreation

Seek additional funding, manage and deliver key projects e.g. LPS, Challenge Fund and visitor infrastructural projects

  • Research potential project funding e.g. for community wildlife sites
  • Plan for sustainability of current major projects