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Our work at Lisnabreeny

Footpath and stream in Cregagh Glen at Lisnabreeny, County Down, Northern Ireland
Footpath and stream in Cregagh Glen at Lisnabreeny | © National Trust Images/John Miller

In recent years, there has been an increase in visitors to places such as Lisnabreeny, engaging with nature on their own terms. Everyone is welcome at National Trust places and to help protect them for future generations, staff and volunteers work hard behind the scenes to patch up increasing signs of damage to pathways and beyond.

To keep paths as natural as possible, they are constructed mostly of aggregate, with grass edging and wooden steps and shuttering, however this leaves them vulnerable to increased footfall and rain erosion. Wet weather and people walking on the grass verges has caused erosion to the grass verges and path surfaces themselves.

Occasional flooding in the glen and at other sites like Minnowburn on the River Lagan has also caused bank erosion and collapse beside riverside paths.

Rangers working hard

The ranger team work hard in all weathers repairing and resurfacing paths and shoring up collapsed riverbanks in Minnowburn and in Lisnabreeny, where steps have been put in on a steep, sloping path that had become very badly eroded and slippery in wet weather.

Divis and the Black Mountain has had its own unique challenges – the summit path is constructed in the classic upland path manner, with stone drains and stone pitched steps, but due to wear and water erosion, was recently re-configured and repaired by a specialist upland path contractor.

Funding approved

In Autumn 2020 the National Trust submitted a £1.3million funding application to the DAERA Environment Fund to help carry out conservation and access improvements across Northern Ireland over a 3 year period. The bid was successful, and the £59,000 Divis Summit Path Improvement Project was approved in January 2021.

Some of the techniques used to drain water and prevent water erosion with natural stone, have since been used by the ranger team on other sites including Lisnabreeny and Minnowburn.

This labour intensive, essential work improve access to these special places allowing visitors to have a safer, more enjoyable visit. Your support makes this important work possible. Thank you.

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