Mournes Path Project

A view of the saddle area between Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh

Not only a source of literary inspiration, the Mournes are home to a varied range of rare plants and habitats which the National Trust works to look after on the highest parts of Donard and Commedagh.

The delicate montane and dry heath, blanket bog, and specialised species which thrive there are part of why the mountains have been designated as a Special Area of Conservation.

As the popularity of the Mournes has grown over recent years, winning recent accolades such as NI’s favourite walking destination, visitor numbers have continued. As this has happened, the delicate ecosystem of the Mournes has started to show signs of wear and tear and that’s where the Mourne Rangers come in. As part of the plan to create a sustainable path on Slieve Donard, the two year project will see them repairing ‘braided’ tracks, where walkers have created multiple routes and re-landscaping some of the areas around the upland paths to ensure protection of the surrounding environment.

Katie hard at work on Slieve Donard
One of our Mourne Rangers working on the paths on Slieve Donard
Katie hard at work on Slieve Donard

Marc Vinas Alcon and Katie Taylor have the best ‘office’ view in Northern Ireland as they start a project to repair path ways on Slieve Donard and Slieve Commedagh. The project will last for two years and the National Trust are investing £250,000 to protect the landscape and improve the condition of paths.

Heather McLachlan, Regional Director of the National Trust for Northern Ireland said: “I’m delighted to see this project beginning, both personally and professionally. This fragile landscape needs to be repaired and protected for further generations and as the UK’s largest conservation charity we will work to make sure that happens, but we also want to balance conservation with access. On a personal level, I love the Mournes: you will often find me in this special place in all weather, walking with friends. I truly understand why thousands of others love this place so much and I’m passionate that the work Marc and Katie do will help those visiting to enjoy these amazing summits.”

If this sounds like your dream job, give Murlough National Nature Reserve a call on 028 4375 1467 to chat about volunteering as a Mourne Ranger.

National Trust staff in the Mournes

Become a Mourne Ranger

Help us look after the Mournes by becoming one of our Mountain Ranger volunteers.