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Project

Divis - A View to the Future

Drone shots of Divis (Drone Shot 5)
Aerial view of Divis mountain | © National Trust

In the care of National Trust since 2004, Divis and the Black Mountain is an iconic part of the skyline of Belfast. It comprises over 1,000 hectares of upland landscape rising to 1,568ft above sea level, which can be explored through a range of walking trails. These offer access to the largest urban green space in the Belfast Council area and provide stunning views over the City and beyond. The landscape is unique and valuable, comprising of a mosaic of grassland and heathland bog and home to a host of wildlife and archaeological remains.

The Vision

Belfast, a city framed by hills which were a symbol of division and exclusion for generations, is emerging from decades of trauma with a new narrative of confidence, innovation, culture and wellbeing.

Here, we will co-create one of the most accessible urban upland green spaces in these Isles, where people and place thrive together in a healthy, nature-rich and beautiful wild landscape.

The Project

Divis - A View to the Future project will provide for both people and nature through delivery of a series of key initiatives which have been developed through an extensive co-creative journey with local communities and stakeholders.

In September 2023, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the National Trust £3million to deliver the project. In addition, Divis and the Black Mountain will also benefit from £300,000 of support from the Garfield Weston Foundation, a further £1.5million grant from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the remaining funding provided by the National Trust.

Project Aims

Over a three-year period, the project aims to achieve 5 core objectives as follows:

  • Development of trails, routes and connections that support accessible, enjoyable experiences. Including a green corridor providing walking access from the city into Belfast's largest urban green space

  • Undertaking significant Peatland and Habitat Restoration.

  • Provision of buildings and infrastructure that supports visitors, staff and volunteers

  • Implementation of Landscape Scale Interpretation Plan.

  • Increasing opportunities for communities to engage with heritage, nature and place

Timeline to the development of Divis and the Black Mountain

2023

Grant funding success

In September 2023, The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded the National Trust £3million to deliver the Divis - A View to the Future project. In addition, the project has been awarded £300,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation, a further £1.5million grant from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency with the remaining funding provided by the National Trust. 

The delivery of the project is expected to commence early 2024 and completion anticipated by December 2026. 

View towards the peak of Divis mountain, near Belfast in Northern Ireland
View towards the peak of Divis mountain | © National Trust Images/Nick Meers
Video
Video

Divis - A View to the Future Project

The Divis - A View to the Future project is co-creating ambitious plans for both people and nature. Through a series of initiatives, this joint journey with local communities and partners will deliver one of the most accessible urban upland green spaces in these Isles, where people and place thrive together in a healthy, nature-rich and beautiful wild landscape.

Drone shots of Divis (Drone Shot 2)

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Our partners

Heritage Fund

Inspiring, leading and resourcing the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future.

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Garfield Weston

The Garfield Weston Foundation is a family founded grant-maker that gives money to support a wide range of charities across the UK. In total they donate around £90 million each year.

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NIEA

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency protects and enhances Northern Ireland’s environment, and in doing so, deliver health and well-being benefits and support economic growth.

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