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.
The Landscape Partnership Scheme produced publications on townlands, history and geology which have raised awareness of heritage. They have been circulated widely, are free of charge and still available after the Scheme.
View and download:
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 the 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 were in poor condition however, suffering from pollution, the presence of invasive species and culverting. Their presence was often undervalued.
This project aimed to reconnect people with their local rivers, helping them look after and value these resources. It also aimed 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 throughout the scheme, a different river was selected for focusing awareness. The local communities were consulted on how they relate to their river and what activities they would like to be involved in. Throughout the scheme, we undertook projects around the Collin River, the Ballymartin River and the Ballymurphy River. This involved ‘Salmon/Trout in the Classroom’ with local schools, talks and reminiscences with local community groups, big river clean ups, bird walks, a fantastic river festival and duck derbies.
Click on a thumbnail to view the gallery.