A community questionnaire was sent to over 500 different groups in the council areas of Belfast, Lisburn, Newtownabbey and Antrim. People’s interest in taking part in various projects and providing suggestions about sites in the hills that are important to them was tested. Meetings with individual groups as well as an open community meeting were also held to get input on community priorities.
Many groups were interested in local history and taking part in projects relating to such. There were a number of suggestions of sites to be restored or interpreted. These included recognition of those who died in airplane crashes on Carnmoney Hill during World War II, various information panels, a townlands patchwork quilt, work on the Half Moon Lake site and a seat with heritage features on Cave Hill designed by Cave Hill Conservation Campaign.
These suggestions have formed the basis of projects we have undertaken.
Development is an issue of great relevance to community groups, with applications for large housing estates, an incinerator, wind turbines and other plans often being submitted within the wider Belfast Hills area. Through our outreach officer we aim to empower the communities themselves to respond. This is important to improve the standards and expectations of plans, so protecting the hills against inappropriate development.