New Outdoor Welcome Unveiled at Florence Court
Fermanagh and the National Trust added to its tourism power today with the official opening the new visitor centre at Florence Court in County Fermanagh.
The £200,000 investment, funded and managed by DARD Forest Service from the Executive’s Economy and Job’s initiative and delivered by DFP’s Central Procurement Directorate, is now the entrance point for all visitors to Florence Court and will boast improved facilities.
The National Trust, Northern Ireland’s largest conservation charity, has also taken on the management of connecting forest park trails.
Jim Chestnutt, National Trust General Manager in Fermanagh said: ‘The development of improved visitor facilities is part of a number of ongoing projects to enhance the overall visitor experience here and create much stronger connections with the outdoors. We now have a space where visitors can discover all there is to see and do at Florence Court, grab a coffee or snack, check out our range of outdoor retail products and book a tour of the 18th-century mansion.
‘We would like to thank the Forest Service for funding this initiative and enabling us to manage the forest park trails - providing even more ways to enjoy the great outdoors.
‘Currently 40,000 people visit Florence Court each year, and with the new Visitor Centre and trails the National Trust aims to double the number of visitors to Florence Court over the next 10 years providing a boost to the local economy.’
Malcolm Beatty, Chief Executive of Forest Service, attending on behalf of Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA, said: ‘We’re delighted to be working in partnership with the National Trust to open the new Visitor Centre and upgrade the 3,500 hectare Forest Park. With 10 miles of forest trails there is now something for adventurers of all abilities, from experienced hikers to keen cyclists, to those wanting a gentle stroll through the scenic Fermanagh countryside.
‘The project at Florence Court and the Forest Park complements existing partnerships with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, and is situated at the foot of Benaughlin and Cuilcagh mountains, and part of the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark. It is a beautiful landscape to explore and visit again and again.’
The trails include the Walled Garden, Rose Garden and Pleasure Grounds, as well as longer trails which take you past the famous Florence Court yew tree. There is also a bridle path for horse riders to enjoy a canter through this extensive park.
Florence Court opens on the 5th March for the 2016 season.
For further information visit our website.