The Belfast Hills Partnership challenged over 300 children, from across Belfast and Newtownabbey, to discover the hidden heritage of Cave Hill Country Park, by taking part in Living History Treasure Trail.
The trail encouraged local young people to learn about Belfast’s fascinating heritage, by discovering ‘real life’ characters and solving clues from Cave Hill’s rich history. The characters were hidden around the Country Park and told the story of Belfast, from its Neolithic beginnings to the present day, as well as providing a timeline for pupils to learn about the city’s development. The ‘ghosts’ from the past included a Bronze Age farmer’s wife, the famous highwayman Naoise O’Haughian ,a quarry worker from the Limestone Quarry, Harriet Chichester, daughter of the 3rd Marquis of Donegall and wife to the Earl of Shaftsbury, and Lawrence Dundon the WWII American airman who tragically crashed his plane into Cave Hill.
Belfast Hills Partnership Youth Outreach Officer, Jo Boylan said: “The Belfast Hills provide a great example of how the people who lived and died here down through the centuries have left their marks on the landscape. The hills are dotted with signs of how we used to live, from as far back as the Neolithic, right up to the present day. We wanted to inspire young people to become history detectives by providing a fun and engaging way to learn about the heritage of Cave Hill”.
“It is part of our ‘Our Bright Future’ project delivered with funding from the Big Lottery Fund NI and match funding from Belfast City Council. We are trying to provide local young with opportunities to explore their local natural and built heritage and develop a greater understanding of why the hills are important not only from a cultural point of view but also the vital role they play in today’s world and furthermore what needs to be done to secure their future”.
Mary McCorry, from St Mary’s Star of the Sea Primary School said “this was a fantastic opportunity for pupils to work as a team, while exploring Cave Hill. The characters really engaged with the kids and the whole event had a wonderful atmosphere”.