Belfast Telegraph

Ligoniel group gets funds to improve beauty spot

Ligonel Improvement Association has won £17,272 to spend on the Wolfhill Dam area. And now other groups are being invited to apply for funding for similar projects.

The money — secured through the Alpha Programme which is administered by Groundwork NI — will help the Ligoniel group to undertake a series of environmental improvements to protect, preserve and maintain the area.

They want to promote access to the site around Wolfhill dams for a multitude of users ranging from hill walkers, ornithologists, local schools, anglers and other recreational users who can enjoy the benefits of this spectacular area which leads straight into the Belfast hills.

The project will involve securing the Wolfhill dam boundary area, replacing existing gates and stiles and improve access to the site.

The Association’s plans include buffer planting and the removing Japanese Knotweed.

Orla Maguire, of the Alpha Programme steering group, wished everyone well with the project “I am aware that this funding has already benefited a place where people can come for enjoyable walks, improve well-being and interact with other members from the local community as well as enhancing the local biodiversity in the process."

Kieran O'Reilly, regeneration co-ordinator with Ligoniel Improvement Association, said: "The funding from the Alpha Programme has made the land around Wolfhill dams more accessible for everyone as a space that the whole community can enjoy whether for fishing, recreational walks or even volunteering at the community orchard."

Mel Waddell, senior project development officer from Groundwork NI, said: "Community groups and organisations are encouraged to submit their proposals to Groundwork NI outlining their ideas and projects and to see if they are eligible for funding.

“If a project meets the outline criteria for funding to the Alpha Programme and if a funding application is successful then Groundwork NI will work closely with the respective community group to ensure the project is a success for everyone involved."

The Alpha Programme, managed by Groundwork NI, invites groups to apply for grants that will be allocated to those organisations that can demonstrate that they have the ideas to transform their local surroundings for the better. For further information on the programme or to download the application form and guidance notes for submitting an application visit www.groundworkni.org.uk or contact Mel Waddell at Groundwork NI on (028) 9074 9494 or email melvynwaddell@groundworkni.co.uk.

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