Bookmark and Share
08/08/2006

Lough Neagh island opened to tourists

Rams Island, the largest island in Lough Neagh, has seen around 2,500 visitors thanks to a combination of funding focused on protecting, promoting and enabling the island to be accessed by local and international visitors.

A redevelopment programme has seen the island receive funding from the Lough Neagh Partnership (LNP), which is supported by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), to finance the provision of a ferry to carry visitors to Rams Island. A new jetty, an interpretative centre and environmental works are also planned.

The new ferry, called 'The Island Warrior', has opened up the island and visitors can now see at first hand many of the unique features of this nature lover's paradise including its vast bird population, its unique collection of mature trees and the remains of an ancient monastic settlement including a round tower.

Michael Savage, Project Manager from River Bann and Lough Neagh Association (RBLNA), who are carrying out the re-development work, commented: "Our role is focused on protecting and also promoting the island. This is the first year the island has become truly accessible to people, and many locals, having seen the island from afar on the shores of Lough Neagh, are now using the 'Warrior' to visit Rams Island and discover first hand what it has to offer.

"So far, our new visitors have blended in with the unique biodiversity on the island, and we have seen no negative impacts, but as the island becomes increasingly popular we will keep a close watch on our role as guardians.

"The mix of funding for Rams Island has helped us carry out a diverse range of actions, from removing predators from the island which has helped local birds to flourish, to increasing accessibility by boat, and when on the island, by foot."

Vince McKevitt of DARD said: "The Island is a really beautiful place. With financial support from DARD and the Programme for Building Sustainable Prosperity through the LNP, and the hard work of the RBLNA, I can see the island becoming an important recreational facility for local people and visitors to Lough Neagh. The work on Rams Island is a good example of how Rural Development funding can contribute to the development of rural areas."

The island has an ongoing events programme and anyone interested in visiting Rams Island should log onto www.ramsisland.org for details of the ferry times.

(SP)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

11 August 2017
Other News In Brief
Repair Work To Be Carried Out On Footbridge In South Belfast Essential repair work is to be carried out on a footbridge in south Belfast. The work will begin on the A24 Saintfield Road in the Glenhugh Park area at 8pm on Saturday, 12 August.
04 August 2017
Taoiseach To Begin Two-Day Visit To Northern Ireland
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is to begin a two-day visit to Northern Ireland today, 04 August. The Irish Prime Minister is due to give a speech later at Queen's University Belfast on the future of north-south relations. Later this afternoon, he will hold meetings with local political parties.
17 November 2016
Investigation Launched Following Arson Attack On Community Centre
Police have launched an investigation following an arson attack at Castlebay Community Centre in Co Tyrone. The attack happened in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 16 November. The bottom stairs lounge has been gutted and heavy damage caused to the bar upstairs. Money and goods were also stolen from the premises.
28 July 2017
Public Consultation Launches To Redevelop Portrush Train Station
A public consultation has been launched to redevelop Portrush Train Station, Co Antrim. Translink plans to invest £5.5million in the new development. Work on the new station is expected to be completed in Spring 2019, subject to planning approval.
07 August 2017
Funding Announced To Develop Three Greenway Projects
A total of £75,000 funding has been allocated for three Greenway projects in Northern Ireland. The funding, allocated from the Department of Infrastructure, is being provided under Stage 3 of the Small Grants Programme for Greenways.
02 August 2017
Other News In Brief
LED Lighting To Be Installed On A2 New LED lighting is to be installed along the A2 in Bangor. The £1 million scheme, from the Ballyrobert Road junction to the Springhill Road, is to replace the existing lighting which is over 40 years old.
31 July 2017
Major Resurfacing Scheme To Begin In Lurgan
A major resurfacing scheme is due to begin in Lurgan on Monday 07 August, the Department for Infrastructure has announced. The £230,000 carriageway resurfacing scheme on Flush Place and Queen Street/Avenue Road will deliver significant improvements to both the structural integrity and surface of the roads.
27 September 2016
Investigation Launched After Van Found Burnt Out In South Belfast
Police have launched an investigation after a van was discovered burnt out in south Belfast. The white Citroën van was found on fire on the Hillsborough Road in Carryduff, close to the Lough Moss Leisure Centre, at around 11pm on Monday, 26 September. A number of people wearing hoodies and tracksuit bottoms were seen fleeing the scene.
04 December 2003
Lough Neagh area to receive £3.2m funding support
The Lough Neagh area is to benefit from a funding package of £3.2 million for a major regeneration initiative. The funding was unveiled today at the formal launch of the Lough Neagh Strategic Fund in the Marina Centre, Ballyronan, Magherafelt.
15 August 2017
Residents And Police Attacked At L'Derry Bonfire
Residents and police officers came under attack last night at a bonfire in the Lecky Road area of L'Derry. It is understood that residents in the area were attacked with bottles and rock by people gathered for the bonfire. When police responded to reports of the attacks, they also came under attack by petrol bombs, rocks and bottles.
14 October 2005
Minister opens £1m refurbished Discovery Centre
Rural Development Minister Jeff Rooker has officially opened the newly refurbished Lough Neagh Discovery Centre at the cost of £1 million. Speaking at the opening, the Minister highlighted the importance of protecting the environment, whilst also promoting business opportunities for local people.
02 March 2007
Funders join forces to enhance wildlife habitat
Regular visitors to the RSPB Reserve at Portmore Lough will have noticed that the wet fringe of scrub and bushes around the Lough is disappearing fast. The bird hide that was once shrouded in willow and alder trees, can now be seen sitting proud above the reedbed.
23 August 2006
Zebra Mussels continue to spread
The Department of the Environment (DOE) has confirmed concern that Zebra Mussels have spread to Lough Neagh. Zebra Mussels were first discovered in Northern Ireland in Lough Erne in 1997 and every effort has since been made to prevent their spread to other waterways.
25 April 2008
Lough Neagh Refurbished Facilities Opened
The recently upgraded facilities at Battery Harbour on the shores of Lough Neagh were officially opened this week by Rural Development Minister Michelle Gildernew.
01 December 2004
Search for fisherman continues on Lough Erne
The hunt for a missing fisherman, Gordon Duncan, was hampered for a time this morning by heavy fog that blanketed the search area of Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh. Yesterday, Coastguards had expressed hope that the 53-year-old may have found shelter ashore.