Northern Ireland

Lough Neagh: Public invited to share their views in bid to develop ‘robust plan for the area’s future’

The 10-year ‘Lough Neagh Resilience Plan’ is funded by the National Lottery

Lough Neagh
The Lough Neagh Partnership are looking to hear from members of the public

A consultation has been launched seeking the views of people about the future of Lough Neagh.

The 10-year ‘Lough Neagh Resilience Plan’ aims to “preserve and protect the unique landscape” of the lough and is calling on members of the public to provide their opinions.

Funded by the National Lottery, the project has already hosted almost 30 meetings since the consultation process began in January.

Those behind the project hope that the feedback and insights received by Lough Neagh Partnership will be vital to developing “a robust plan for the area’s future”.

The public is now being invited to participate by completing an online questionnaire.

Lough Neagh is the biggest freshwater lake, by surface area, in the UK and Ireland and supplies 40% of Northern Ireland’s drinking water and sustains a major eel-fishing industry.

Algae on the surface of Lough Neagh at Ballyronan Marina
Algae on the surface of Lough Neagh at Ballyronan Marina last summer

But noxious blooms covered large parts of the lough across last summer, and also affected other waterways and beaches in the region.

A number of discussion events will be held in the coming months, ahead of the creation of a 10-year resilience plan for the lough.

It will also identify potential avenues for funding and establish new sustainable management structures to ensure the enduring vitality of Lough Neagh.

The Lough Neagh Partnership received a £244,933 award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund to undertake the project.

Michael Browne from the partnership, said: “Lough Neagh is a mirror reflecting both beauty and challenges and together we can protect it, so we are inviting anyone with an interest in Lough Neagh to please take a moment to complete an online questionnaire and contribute to the sustainable stewardship of Lough Neagh.

“We are actively seeking engagement from the public in completing this questionnaire as it is anticipated that the information garnered from the responses received online together with the insights gleaned at stakeholder meetings, will evaluate the heritage needs of Lough Neagh.”

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