Although growing numbers of visitors are being attracted to the Belfast Hills they are still a very under-used resource, with many people who live in the shadow of the hills never having been to any of the public sites. Belfast City Council in their Strategic Tourism Strategy produced in 2011 have referred to the Belfast Hills as a key destination for visitors and one that should be enhanced and promoted.
The Partnership will aim to encourage more people to enjoy the heritage landscape, particularly areas as yet unrecognised as valuable to the majority of visitors. This will have the added benefit of spreading the anticipated increased number of visitors over a wider landscape area. However, access will need to be carefully managed and monitored to ensure that the heritage of the landscape is not inadvertently damaged. It is therefore essential that adequate paths and infrastructure are in place to cope with increasing visitor numbers, and to ensure that vulnerable sites are protected.
New paths have been installed on Divis (summit path), Cave Hill (McArts fort path and limestone quarry path), Ligoniel Dams and Ligoniel Park. Path improvements have been made at Slievenacloy and Upper Colin Glen. A new entrance way was installed at The Horse Shoe Bend entrance of Cave Hill Country Park.
When additional links can be formed, we will work with the landowner to create access.