Evidence of the rich heritage of the hills is still present today. There is a great need however, to educate people about it. Likewise the Belfast Hills have a rich variety of underlying geology – clearly seen in old and existing quarries throughout the area. Many people are aware of the biodiversity of the hills, but the geodiversity is often overlooked and generally under-appreciated
Publications on townlands, history and geology will raise awareness of heritage. They will be circulated widely and free of charge.
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The Belfast Hills have numerous small streams which become larger wooded rivers and waterfalls, finally feeding urban rivers down to the River Lagan and Belfast Lough, or west through countryside to Lough Neagh.
Groundwater sources which bubble up as springs, have been used by people and businesses in the hills for centuries. Many of these rivers are in poor condition however and suffer from pollution, the presence of invasive species and culverting. Their presence is often undervalued.
This project aims to reconnect people with their local rivers, helping them look after and value these resources. It also aims to help people see the connections between their local rivers flowing from sources and springs in the Belfast Hills, right down to where these rivers finally end. Each year of the scheme, a different river will be selected for focusing awareness. The local community will be consulted on how they relate to their river and what activities they would like to be involved in. So far we have undertaken projects around the Collin River and Ballymurphy River. This has involved Salmon/Trout in the Classroom with local schools, talks and reminiscences with local community groups, river clean ups, bird walks, a river festival and duck derbies.
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