Managing and protecting Lough Neagh.
The Lough Neagh Partnership is a stakeholder organisation that was established in 2003 to help manage and protect Lough Neagh. The board of the partnership is made up of elected representatives, landowners, fishermen, farmers and local communities.
Lough Neagh Partnership (LNP): Role, Achievements, and Strategy
Overview and Role:
Lough Neagh Partnership is the primary organisation responsible for the sustainable development of Lough Neagh. Over the past twenty years, it has been instrumental in enhancing, preserving, and promoting the distinctive attributes of the Lough Neagh area.
Infrastructure: Amongst its commendable achievements, LNP has notably improved the region’s infrastructure. Significant investments were made in the development of Curran Key, the most substantial fishing quay on Lough Neagh, the extension of the Battery harbour, and the inception of new berthing facilities around the lough.
Community Development: LNP has been pivotal in the restoration and development of community spaces such as Maghery Community Hall, Washing Bay Healthy Living Centre, and Glenavy youth centre.
Educational and Interpretive Exhibits: LNP established interpretive exhibitions at various locations, including Ram’s Island, Oxford Island, the Lock Keepers Cottage, and The Eel Fishery in Toome.
Safety & Navigation: LNP funded two state of the art Lough Neagh Rescue boats and have been lobbying the Department of Infrasturcture to upgrade navigation markers and dredge the Blackwater and River Bann.
Environmental Conservation: With an unwavering focus on environmental conservation, LNP has overseen habitat protection projects at numerous sites. Additionally, in collaboration with the RSPB, the partnership has safeguarded endangered wetland breeding bird species at several locations around Lough Neagh at Lough Beg and Portmore Lough. Furthermore, LNP has initiated two significant environmental group farm schemes, amassing an investment of over £4.9m to foster more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming practices.
Heritage Conservation: Since 2016, through the Lough Neagh Landscape Partnership Scheme, LNP has successfully overseen the completion of twenty-seven heritage projects. These ventures have included major projects such as the transfer of a major peatland and fen areas previously owned by the Department of Education and NIEA to the Partnership in preparation of a major new restoration and management improvement programmes and the creation of significant new nature recovery networks.
Research: LNP participated in the WaterPro nutrient research programme with AFBI , aiming to devise practical methods to mitigate farming nutrient runoff. This initiative was a part of the EU Northern Peripheries Transnational Interreg Programme.
Economic Development: The partnership has played a crucial role in nurturing the region’s economic growth, most notably by pioneering the Lough Neagh Artisan cluster. Established in 2019, Lough Neagh Artisans is a collective promoting collaboration and local distinctiveness in artisan products and experiences. The group frequently hosts markets, offering a unique platform for locals and visitors to explore Lough Neagh’s local crafts and produce.
Integrated Marketing and Tourism: LNP has also placed emphasis on promoting Lough Neagh’s rich traditions and cultural heritage. This was achieved through ‘Lough Neagh Tours’, captivating both local and international visitors with the region’s unique experiences.
As LNP looks to the future, its strategic goals are clear:
• Lobby government departments to prioritise and address Lough Neagh’s unique needs in a more integrated manner.
• Lead efforts to address strategic challenges, especially concerning the lough’s navigation and ownership.
• Place emphasis on promoting, protecting, and utilising the area’s built, cultural, and natural heritage for the benefit of all.
• Attract greater investments to amplify the value of the Lough and its stakeholders.
• Support farmers and landowners in their transition towards climate change adaptability and environmental sustainability.
• Shine a spotlight on Lough Neagh’s artisan food experiences.
• Deepen engagements with the agri-food sector developing new food supply chains
In summary, Lough Neagh Partnership promotes sustainable development, ensuring the unique character and heritage of Lough Neagh are celebrated and preserved for future generations.
Lough Neagh Partnership
LNP is a non profit, community based body, working with partners to help protect Lough Neagh
LNP is a stakeholder organisation established in 2003 to help manage & protect Lough Neagh.