Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust


Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust

“Relationship building is primarily what we do.”


1 Contact: Réamaí Mathers, Landscape Partnership Scheme Manager, The Old Bank, 27 Main Street, Armoy, Ballymoney, Co Antrim. BT 53 8SL. Tel: 048 2075 2100 /  Email:

2 Territory: The territory embraces two new Council areas and including three designated  AONB’s. The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust is devoted to protecting and enhancing the unique heritage of the Causeway Coast and Glens area, including but not limited to the Binevenagh (16,594ha of land), Causeway Coast (4,200ha of land) and Antrim Coast and Glens (72,489ha of land) Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and the Giant’s Causeway and Causeway Coast World Heritage Site (WHS). Trostan is the highest peak on the Antrim Plateau reaching a height of 550m. The Garron Plateau has been designated as a RAMSAR site which recognises it as a wetland of international importance. The blanket bog habitat is particularly important for a range of rare breeding birds. Some of the larger communities include Ballycastle in the north, Larne in the south also Ballymoney, Cushendun and Bushmills.

3 Founded: 2002 [Note: AONB designation 1988.]he Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust is a public/private/voluntary sector partnership established in

4 Genesis: The Trust emerged from two distinct needs namely a requirement to set up management structures for the 3 AONBs coupled with the local demand for a more integrated approach to sustainable tourism development.

5 Vision: To raise awareness of the special qualities of the natural, built and cultural heritage of the Causeway Coast & Glens area including the Antrim Coast & Glens, Causeway Coast and Binevenagh Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and; promoting environmental management and sustainable development that aims to conserve and enhance the unique heritage of the area for the benefit of all.

6 Key Objectives:– To develop sustainable and effective partnerships; To raise awareness of the unique and special qualities/character, in both landscape and heritage terms (natural, built and cultural) of the 3 AONBs and their surrounding area; To deliver an excellent protected area management provision for the CCGHT geographical area; To ensure best practice in sustainable development principles throughout the CCGHT geographical area and; To deliver a sustainable, efficient and effective core of activities and management for the CCGHT.

7 Structure: The Board comprises 13 members drawn from: Community X 2; Farming / landowning X 3; Heritage X 1; Wildlife / ecology X 1; Statuatory / public reps X 6. This figure is supported by official observers from NIEA X 1 and Tourism NI X 1 and advisers from the 2 councils giving four in total. The Chair comes from an education and agricultural background. The Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

8 Operational Management: There are 8 full-time and 2 part-time staff comprising a CEO with a manager for the Landscape Partnership Scheme, each of the three AONB’s has a manager plus a Corporate Services manager. Formal Board meetings occur about four times a year. There is a special Finance & Governance Sub Committee which meets when required. Each of the AONB’s meet about four times in the year. [Note: Relationships are good with the local Councils and engagement tends to be under the following themes Health, Tourism, Recreation and the Environment.]

9 Annual Core Budget: £600k per annum for the Trust (including £250k for the Glens of Antrim Landscape Partnership Scheme). [Note: Funding comes from four primary sources: Heritage Lottery Funding; Central Government through principally NIEA; Local Government and; EU funding.]

10 Sample Programming: Community Engagement: There are between 10/12 formal information sessions with community groups throughout the year; Education and Research: Ongoing with the likes of QUB and the UU including student placements. There is significant time place on working with local national schools. The online ‘Learning Zone’ is a valuable resource for primary / secondary schools;  Technological Innovation: The 3D recording of geological features ie making 3D models of many sites that are difficult to access; Festivals & Events: Delivering new events on a regular basis e.g. 10 Nights of Music in a Week – the promotion of traditional music and culture which has been embraced by all at a total cost of £300 for a simple brochure widely disctributed ; Online Communications: Management of the portal web site Publications: An extensive range of publications from a regular Newsletter to specialist Bulletins across all AONB areas. Management Planning and coordinating:  development of management plans for AONBs, WHS… and coordination of their implementation. Interpretation: Development of opportunities for interpretation in the Causeway Coast and Glens and along the Causeway Coastal Route.

11 Some Practical Problems Encountered: Lack of long term planning resulting in the longevity of the project often called into question; We find ourselves working across silos which often inhibits progress and ultimately is a loss to the whole community.

12 Some Unresolved Issues: With changes in Government Departments and local councils (reduction of staff and merging of departments/councils) there is a risk points of contact  being lost and a reduction in momentum; It is hard to get city based people with the required skills to move to the rural countryside to work on the project; Perpetual uncertainty in relation to the future.

13 Lessons Learned: Address peoples needs not their wants; You learn over time to adapt your language to best suit the community or stakeholder you are speaking to; You have to speak regularly to local people about the project, the importance of locally available information on the project should not be underestimated;  We do many Farmers Talks throughout the year where we talk to people not representative bodies; We have achieved ‘balance’ in our programming and the allocation of resources.

14 Work Profile: Community and partner engagement 30%; Communications and events 30%; Land management and access 20%; Administration 20%.


The Old Bank, 27 Main Street, Armoy, Ballymoney, Co Antrim.

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