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Lough Neagh Secures Funding from Heritage Lottery Fund

30th October 2013

Multi-million pound boost for Lough Neagh landscape

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has announced grants¹ of £21million for nine new projects across the UK, with one from Northern Ireland set to receive a multi-million pound boost.

The unique natural, cultural and built heritage of Lough Neagh and its environs is to be explored, protected and enjoyed as part of a major new five-year project which was awarded a £2.58 million grant through HLF’s Landscape Partnership² programme.

Over the last decade the Landscape Partnership programme has provided £160million to protect some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes. Today’s announcement brings to eight the total number of local landscapes to benefit from HLF funding, and comes just weeks after the award of a £1.6million grant for a new Landscape Partnership scheme in the Glens of Antrim.

In the centre of Northern Ireland, Lough Neagh is bounded by five counties and is the largest freshwater lake in the UK and Ireland. It is a distinct landscape made up of wetland habitat and is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life - it even has its own species of trout (Dollaghan), freshwater herring (Pollan) and the Lough Neagh Fly. The new Landscape Partnership scheme will bring the local lough-shore communities and public bodies together to identify and tackle the needs of this unique landscape in a co-ordinated and practical way. It will include lots of projects to conserve and manage the heritage of the area, and planned activities include the development of a heritage trail along the entire shoreline, archaeological digs and workshops and wetland and peat land conservation.

Paul Mullan, Head of HLF Northern Ireland, said: “The shoreline and islands of Lough Neagh have a distinct landscape character and a rich, but little known heritage. The area is hugely important as a home to a host of wildlife, and for providing a place for people to enjoy water and outdoor activities. It also has a strong community who are keen to play their part in securing the long term future of the Lough, its heritage and economic potential.

“We were delighted to be able to support yet another important piece of Northern Ireland’s diverse and beautiful landscape through our Landscape Partnership programme. Our landscapes are the bedrocks of our heritage, communities and tourism and are worthy of this investment of not only funding but the focus and energy of all the organisations and communities involved in the partnerships.”

Welcoming news of the award, The Honourable Shane O’Neill, Chairman of Lough Neagh Partnership Project, said: “We are delighted that Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded a Landscape Partnership grant to Lough Neagh. Lough Neagh has a very rich and diverse natural, cultural and built heritage and we look forward to developing the project with our partners including RSPB, NIEA, other Government Departments, the seven Councils around the Lough, local communities and the River Bann & Lough Neagh Association."

The nine landscapes receiving support are:

· East Wight, the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
· Coigach and Assynt, a beautiful and remote part of North West Scotland
· The New Forest , extensive ancient woodland and heathland with a strong surrounding community
· Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland, the largest fresh water lake in the British Isles
· Rusland Valley and Fells, in the South Lake District National Park with a strong link to the traditional coppicing industry
· Derwent Valley, a coalfield area left behind by deindustrialisation which aims to harness the potential of its heritage for positive change and tourism
· Ingleborough Dales, a limestone landscape in the Craven district of the Yorkshire Dales National Park
· Humberhead Levels in South Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, a rare internationally important wetland landscape characterised by significant remains of medieval strip farming and famous for its peatlands
· North York Moors, home of the pioneering ironstone industry and the early development of railways

Using money raised through the National Lottery, the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) aims to make a lasting difference for heritage, people and communities across the UK and help build a resilient heritage economy. From museums, parks and historic places to archaeology, natural environment and cultural traditions, we invest in every part of our diverse heritage. HLF has supported 35,000 projects with £5.6bn across the UK.




World Wetlands Day Litter Lift

On Rams Island Lough Neagh

Saturday 2nd February 2013

 Volunteer Litter Lift and Tour


Details contact Michael


email michael@ramsisland.org

Helping the Lough Neagh Environment and Celebrating World Wetlands Day

The theme for this year’s World Wetlands Day on 2 February is Wetlands and Water Management.

More info on World Wetlands Day see www.ramsar.org

A family day out on Lough Neagh with light refreshments provided by RBLNAC.

Well Done all those that attended

It must be stressed that the litter has been brought to the Island by floods and not left by visitors.  Visitors to the Island are usually very cooperative and do not as a rule leave litter.


Broadcast on BBC 2 N.I.

Dig WW2 with Dan Snow will be airing again, this time BBC2, on three consecutive days, August 27, 28 & 29, at 7:00pm

During WW2 USAAF personnel from the American base at Langford Lodge took time off to relax on Rams Island. Made a change from working on Lightnings, Thunderbolts and Liberators etc. Some of the visitors carved their names and home states on the Beech trees. At the start of WW2 a detachment of Belgian Troops were actually stationed on the Island. A television crew from 360 Productions filmed Dan Snow British Television presenter on Friday evening 5th August 2011 for a series of historical programmes on WW2 to be aired by the BBC. Surrounded by airfields and with the famous Sandy Bay Flying boat base Lough Neagh and Rams Island played a large background role in the war effort. This was mainly training, servicing and armament production.



World Wetlands Day 2012

2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

To mark World Wetlands Day the Rams Island Heritage Project has organised a volunteer litter lift on and around the shores of Rams Island. Saturday 4th February at 11.00 hours boat from Sandy Bay. Accompanied children welcome. Light refreshments courtesy of the RBLNAC Charity.

The World Wetlands Day theme for 2012 is Wetlands and Tourism Wetland tourism has benefits both locally and nationally for people and wildlife – benefits such as stronger economies, sustainable livelihoods, healthy people and thriving ecosystems. At least 35% of Ramsar Sites around the world record some level of tourism activity and this percentage is consistent throughout all regions. Of course it is important to consider tourism in all wetlands – not just those designated as Ramsar Sites – since the Contracting Parties to the Convention are committed to managing all wetlands. Rams Island is located within the Lough Neagh Ramsar site.


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Update 29.01.12

All markers are now repaired


The Snowdrop litter lift on Saturday, 26 February 2011 has left Rams Island completely litter free. This meets one of our goals set in 2004.Well done all who helped with all the hard work over the last two months and during previous winters. A great effort by all concerned!

Rams Island is now litter free.

click here for more details



Lough Neagh Celebrates


As part of the Annual World Wetlands Day  Events the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association are holding  Litter Lifts on Rams Island.



2 February 2011

World Wetlands Day

click for leaflet



Updated version of The River Bann & Lough Neagh Pilot now available

Click here for details


The River Bann & Lough Neagh Association Co has produced a guide for the two major Islands of Lough Neagh,

 Coney Island and Rams Island.

48 pages of information about the flora and fauna, history and a small hint of scandal.

Its available on  now for £6 plus £1.50p&p

 Also available for local pickup

email: michael@ramsisland.org


The Lough Neagh Website

Discover Lough Neagh




Island Warrior is a licensed passenger boat dedicated to ferrying the public and volunteers to Rams Island.

Island Warrior will be in service on Lough Neagh early in the new year.

Island Warrior will also be available for charter on Lough Neagh.

Details 07715368050 email michael











The RBLNA consists of boating enthusiasts, anglers, environmentalists, naturalists and people who have an interest in the future and well being of the River Bann, Lough Neagh and associated waterways.


RBLNA is a branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland

We have a very  well  supported annual boat rally

for details click here

We campaigned successfully against the closure of the Lower Bann Navigation


We meet four times a year , organise various events and have members on various local committees
RBLNA meetings are open to all members

We welcome new members from all walks of life

Coalisland Canal Website

We are committed to actively supporting the
reopening of all the disused navigations connected to
Lough Neagh

Ulster Canal Website

Join Us



A boating guide to the River Bann and Lough Neagh system

£15 stg    

plus £3 P&P

email: michael@ramsisland.org


or phone +44 07715368050


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last updated Monday June 14, 2021