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Sustainable Tourism Strategy

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  • pg 1
									Natural Resource Rural Tourism

  Sustainable Tourism Strategy
        for the Mournes

     Draft Strategy Report

Prepared By Ferguson McIIveen in
    association with Tourism
 Development International and
    Countryside Consultancy

                               Page No 1
CONTENTS                                                                         Page No.
           PREFACE                                                                    3
           EXECUTIVE SUMMARY                                                          5

  1.0      INTRODUCTION                                                               7
             1.1     Background                                                       7
             1.2     NRRTI Timescale                                                  8
             1.3     The approach to the production of the Strategy                   8
             1.4     Inclusive and widespread Consultations                           9
             1.5     Contribution to the NRRT Initiative and Peace II Aims and        10

             2.1     Name and contact details                                         13
             2.2     Status of the partnership                                        13
             2.3     Membership                                                       14
             2.4     Operational Structure for NRRTI                                  16
             2.5     Administration staff – Operation of NRRTI                        16
             2.6     Administrative Costs                                             18
             2.7     Equal Opportunities                                              19

            3.1a     Measures of Deprivation                                          24
            3.1b     Rural Development Council - Rural Baseline Study for             26
                     Northern Ireland
             3.2     Relevant Strategies, Plans and Policies                          28
             3.3     Implications of existing Strategies, policies and Plans          38
             3.4     Market Research                                                  39
             3.5     Baseline Audit                                                   40
             3.6     Natural Resource Audit                                           43

  4.0      SWOT ANALYSIS
             4.1     Strengths                                                        49
             4.2     Weaknesses                                                       51
             4.3     Opportunities                                                    52
             4.4     Threats                                                          54

  5.0      NEEDS ASSESSMENT                                                           55

  6.0      LINKAGES                                                                   57
             6.1     Links and Consultations with other Groups and Agencies           57
             6.2     Wider Networking, liaison and co-ordination                      59

                                                                                  Page No 2
             6.3   Links with other NRRTI Areas                                  60
             6.4   Links with key Government Departments                         61

  7.0     VISION, THEMES AND ACTION PLAN                                         63
             7.1   Vision for 5 – 10 Years                                       63
             7.2   Inclusion of Others in Developing the Vision                  63
             7.3   Aims                                                          64
             7.4   Themes                                                        64
             7.5   Contribution to NRRT                                          65

  8.0     PROGRAMME OF PLANNED ACTIVITIES                                        66
             8.1   Action Programme                                              66
             8.2   Impacts and Sustainability                                    72
  9.0     ADMINISTRATION ARRANGEMENTS                                            74
             9.1   Seclection Criteria for Projects and Programmes               74
             9.2   Communications and Publicity                                  77
             9.3   Monitoring and Evaluation                                     77
             9.4   Transparency, Financial Accountability and Audit Trails       77
             9.5   Financial Plan                                                79
             9.6   Declaration








                                                                             Page No 3
The Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative [NRRTI] under the EU Peace II
Programme aims to provide support for the development and implementation of
projects which will provide a sustainable tourism product based on the natural
resources of Northern Ireland‟s disadvantaged rural areas. This product will be
identified through the production of a Sustainable Tourism Strategy, prepared by
the local partnership groups who will be delivering in each of the NRRTI areas in
Northern Ireland.

The Mourne Heritage Trust partnership is responsible for delivering NRRTI in the
target area of “The Mournes” and Ferguson McIlveen, TDI and Countryside
Consultancy have been engaged to lead the preparation of this Strategy on their

The purpose of this Strategy is to deliver a set of objectives and actions that will:
   -   Enhance and develop the distinctiveness of the Mournes

   -   Protect and enhance the built and natural resources character and bio-
       diversity of rural resource

   -   Develop locational and subject themes such as cultural tourism

   -   Improve access to tourism through provision of tourism infrastructure at
       key locations

   -   Facilitate the development of rural industries and integration into the area

   -   Ensure that local economies gain benefit from tourism development

   …so as to benefit individuals and private enterprises, community and
   voluntary groups, collective and co-operative organisations and partnerships,
   non-governmental organisations and local authorities.
The strategy has been prepared in accordance with guidelines issued by DARD and its
partners EHS and NITB.

                                                                             Page No 4
Executive Summary

The Mournes and Slieve Croob areas are one of five areas across Northern Ireland
identified as being disadvantaged areas designated as Areas of Outstanding
Natural Beauty and Environmentally Sensitive Areas. The target area covers parts
of the Districts of Banbridge, Down and Newry and Mourne. This report has been
prepared under the Natural Resources Rural Tourism Initiative guidance and for
funding from the Peace II Programme to maximise opportunities for tourism
development arising from peace by utilising previously untapped natural and
cultural resources in sustainable manner.

The Strategy, which has a duration of 2002 to 2006 has considered the existing
situation in the Mournes and identified the needs. From this a Vision and Action
Plan have been drawn up and the report culminates in a costing plan. In preparing
the Strategy an extensive consultation exercise was carried out with local people
and interest groups in three locations throughout the target area.

Chapter 2 of the Strategy focuses on the delivery partnership, Mourne Heritage
Trust and gives details of the bodies involved in the partnership including the 3
District Councils, government departments, environmental, recreational and local
interests and details of the structure of the trust. The Strategy has been prepared
by the Strategic Policy Group which consists of the Trust manager, members from
the three Councils and representatives from ROMAL and East Down Rural
Community Network. Mourne Heritage Trust will be the body responsible for the
delivery of the programme and the staff structure and costs to implement this are

A socio-economic policy background for the target area is provided in Chapter 3.
Initially this gives details of deprivation in the target area and ranks them. It
shows the Wards of Spelga, Murlough and Rathfriland to be the most deprived
overall while other Wards rank most deprived in terms of, amongst others,

                                                                          Page No 5
income, employment health or social environment. Summaries of the main
strategies policies and plans that exist for the area are detailed. These include
other tourism related strategies, a recreation strategy and the area development
plans and regional planning policy that affect the area. These documents help to
identify needs and constraints to tourism development and mostly advocate a
sustainable approach to tourism development. Finally this Chapter considers the
recently completed Baseline Audit which raises issues such as visitor experience,
skills development, accommodation, marketing and visitor management. Details
of how this Strategy relates to the Audit are provided.

Chapter 4 comprises a SWOT analysis which was prepared through the
consultations, information from the previous strategies and auditing and
observing the target area. The broad themes of marketing, environment and
culture, facilities and existing plans and policies were identified when producing
the SWOT and are presented as such.

All the above information culminates in a Needs Assessment for the target area,
which is included in Chapter 5. This Chapter relates the activities/ initiatives
identified by NRRTI, that may receive support, to the needs of the target area.
These   include   Development    of   Tourism    Infrastructure,   Tourism    Related
Businesses, Environmental and Visitor Management Initiatives, Training and New
Marketing Initiatives.

Chapter 6 provides detail on how the partnership is linked with government
agencies and other bodies in the delivery of the programme.

The Vision, Themes and Objectives have been formulated from the Needs
Analysis and are included in Chapter 7.

A detailed Action and Costing programme is provided under each Theme heading
in Chapter 8. The tables in this Chapter give a breakdown of the recommended

                                                                             Page No 6
projects, what is to be achieved, the cost, the body that will implement it and a
breakdown of the required funding. The potential impacts from a social,
environmental and economic point of view and the measures required to mitigate
them are shown in a further table. Finally, the selection criteria for projects and
programmes are listed.

                                                                          Page No 7

1.1   Background to NRRTI in Mourne

      Mourne Heritage Trust was selected in December 2001 to be the delivery
      partnership for the Mournes Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative. The
      target area for the Mournes, one of five identified across Northern Ireland,
      is   based   on   disadvantaged   areas   designated   as   an     AONB   and
      Environmentally Sensitive Areas and includes parts of the Districts of
      Banbridge, Down and Newry and Mourne and covers the following wards:

      Banbridge    Gransha         Newry and Mourne          Annalong
                   Ballyward                                 Burren and Kilbroney
                   Katesbridge                               Binnian
                   Rathfriland                               Clonallan
                                                             Kilkeel Central

      Down         Castlewellan                              Kilkeel South
                   Donard                                    Lisnacree
                   Dundrum                                   Mayobridge
                   Dunmore                                   Rostrevor
                   Murlough                                  Seaview
                   Shimna                                    Spelga

      The map in Appendix 7 shows the target area, approximately 70% of which
      is within the Mournes and Slieve Croob AONB, including some 72
      kilometres of coastline. Approximately 50% of the area is also designated
      an Environmentally Sensitive Area.     The NRRTI area extends from near
      Newry in the west eastwards to Kilkeel, Annalong, Newcastle and

                                                                           Page No 8
      Dundrum, and from the coast at Carlingford Lough, north to include
      Dromara and the southern part of Ballynahinch.

      The area, especially the coast and the mountains have been a tourist
      destination since the 1700s. Newcastle was the first town in the area to
      develop as a “tourist resort” in the mid 1800s, followed by Rostrevor and
      Warrenpoint during the advent of the steam train to these towns. The area
      also became a popular place for scientists and nature enthusiasts and later
      attracted ramblers and climbers. Second homes and caravans started to
      become popular with increased private car ownership and then cheap
      package holidays after WW2 including rambling and golfing holidays.
      These trends have continued to the present and now include forest parks,
      trekking, watersports and cycling.

      During the “troubles” in Northern Ireland tourism has suffered and
      investment in tourism has dropped. Appendix 1 gives an overview of
      tourism trends in Northern Ireland, with a focus on the Down, Banbridge
      and Newry and Mourne Districts. The trends for Northern Ireland show that
      most of the trips are from a domestic market and the number of trips,
      nights spent and revenue have been rising slowly since a slump during
      1997/98. The Down, Banbridge and Newry and Mourne Districts account
      for 7%, 1% and 3% respectively of the Northern Ireland share of tourism. In
      terms of participation in activities, golfing and walking rank highest.

1.2   NRRTI Timescale

      This Strategy is being prepared to cover the period 2002 to 2006. Once
      adopted, the deadline for applying for grants for projects will be the end of
      December 2004 and all projects in receipt of a grant must be implemented
      by end of 2006.

                                                                           Page No 9
1.3   The Approach to the Production of the Strategy

      The NRRTI guidance on the preparation of sustainable tourism strategies
      was used to guide the structure of the Strategy and the approach was
      based on the „Action Plan‟ agreed between Mournes Heritage Trust and
      DARD as follows:
      -   Situational analysis – This involved a review of existing strategies, plans
          and policies and a review of market trends and performance within the
          target area. A socio-economic background was also prepared that
          highlighted the level of deprivation by ward and other key rural
          indicators within the area. This initial desk top research culminated in a
          SWOT analysis and an identification of needs for the area.
      -   Vision and Objectives – Once the needs were established a vision and a
          set of objectives were drafted in consultation with the Strategic Policy
          Group which represented key partners.
      -   Consultations – Public consultation workshops were held as detailed
          below, at which the previously drafted vision and objectives were
          presented and feedback obtained.
      -   Draft Plan – Taking all the above information into consideration, an
          action plan was prepared based on broad Themes each with a set of
          objectives and actions.
      -   Final Plan – A final meeting of the Strategic Policy Group helped in the
          prioritisation   of    projects,   budgetary      costs    and    funding
      -   Plan approval for submission – The final draft plan was considered by
          the Board of Mournes Heritage Trust on 19 June 2001 and approved for

                                                                           Page No 10
1.4        Inclusive and Widespread Consultations

           Existing Strategies

           Consultations for this Strategy built upon previous consultation exercises
           carried out during the production of the district-wide tourism strategies
           prepared by Banbridge, Down and Newry and Mourne District Councils
           during 2001 and 2002. The consultations for the Mourne Heritage Trust
           Operational Plan during 2001 also have a bearing on this Strategy and have
           been built upon here.

           Below is a list of the existing strategies which contributed to the
           development of this Strategy and the consultation exercises undertaken for

Strategy                      Responsible                 No. of consultation No.      of     people
                              Authority                   events held          attended
MHT Operational Plan          Mourne          Heritage            1                      70
2001 – 2004                   Trust
Down District Council         Down District Council               3                     170
Tourism Strategy
Banbridge          District   Banbridge        District           3                     100
Council            Tourism    Council
Newry      and     Mourne     Newry     and   Mourne           3 public             90 at public
District           Council    District Council             consultations & 1   consultations & 60 at
Tourism Strategy                                             final meeting          final meeting

           Consultations on the Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Mournes

           The consultation stage involved consulting with local people and interest
           groups within the study area. Consultations took the form of workshops

                                                                                       Page No 11
held in Warrenpoint, Newcastle and Rathfriland on the 14th, 15th and 16th
May 2002. The consultants presented a draft vision for sustainable tourism
in the Mournes and initial objectives and indicative actions for achieving
that vision.

Notices of dates and venues for the workshops were advertised in all local
newspapers and over 200 key individual and interest groups were invited
including for example caravan park owners, self catering providers, activity
providers, District Councils and sports clubs. The numbers attending each
workshop were 35 at Warrenpoint, 41 at Newcastle and 22 at Rathfriland.

Attendees were asked to complete a questionnaire which was designed to
draw out the general opinion on the draft vision. By compiling the
responses from the three consultation days, (refer to Appendix 2), the
consultants were able to identify recurrent themes and key priorities.

The first question was „Please comment on the overall relevance of the
themes‟. The general consensus was that there was a very thorough
coverage of the themes – there was an element of duplication, but this
wasn‟t necessarily a bad thing.

The second question was „Please comment on the overall relevance of the
indicative measures as mentioned under the themes‟. From the responses
it emerged that „branding‟ was one of the most important themes to be
considered. – many people wanted the encouragement of traditional crafts,
such as wood turning and stone working. The lack of accommodation,
particularly B&B‟s and single unit dwellings, featured in many of the
responses. Many responses also included the need for training to show
locals the advantages of tourism, and how to maximise their potential in
the tourism market in the area.

                                                                   Page No 12
      The third question was „Are there any additional themes that you would
      add to the list?‟.   Responses included the addition of actions to cater for
      disabled visitors, a themed holidays section and the promotion of
      established „products‟ such as angling and walking.     The distribution of
      information booklets and guides was also considered to be an important
      theme. Coastal access also emerged as a priority with a definite need for
      more jetties, marinas and mooring points.

      The final task was to prioritise the themes in terms of percentage funding
      that would be afforded to each. Tourism Enterprises and Living Landscape
      were the two themes which emerged to have the highest priority. It was
      thought that training should be afforded the least amount of funding.

      Secondary consultations were invited through the local press in the week
      beginning 10 June 2002.            Revised proposals following the public
      consultations workshops were made available at this time. Three written
      responses were received as a result and these have been reflected where
      appropriate within the Strategy.

1.5   Contribution to the NRRT Initiative and PEACE II Aims and

      The following Aims and Objectives have been extracted from the DARD
      NRRTI Consultation Document and reflect the aims and objectives of the
      PEACE II Programme.


                                                                        Page No 13
    The initiative will maximise opportunities for tourism development arising
    from peace by utilising previously untapped natural and cultural resources
    in a sustainable manner and aim:-

    -   To ensure that the countryside is managed in a way which provides a
        high quality and consistent experience for our visitors;
    -   To ensure that new and developing tourism infrastructure, facilities and
        services within the countryside are resourced, supported, provided and
        managed in a strategic way;
    -   To raise awareness among visitors of the sensitivity of our natural
        resources and to ensure that their participation in countryside activity is
        well informed


-   Harnessing the shared cultural and natural identity and resources of
    Northern Ireland for the benefit of tourism;
-   Ensure    that   tourism   development     is   economically,   socially   and
    environmentally sustainable;
-   Stimulate urban and rural regeneration particularly in disadvantaged area;
-   Create opportunities for the two communities to work together in co-
    ordinated pursuit of common goals.

The Strategy aims to be consistent with the above aims and objectives by

-   a high quality, consistent and strategic approach to tourism infrastructure
    and services is proposed through an integrated signage scheme,
    networked gateway centres at key locations providing information, so that
    visitors are better informed, branded accommodation provision that

                                                                         Page No 14
    encourages regeneration of existing facilities and support of accredited
    activity providers;
-   the Strategy adopts a non car based approach to tourism development,
    proposing improved bus routes, park and ride, cycle hire and improved
    foot and cycle paths;
-   through the consultations with local people, Councils and interest groups,
    the Strategy has cross community support;
-   the natural and cultural resources of the area are highlighted in all aspects
    of the Strategy, especially in the support of events based on culture and
    activities and rural heritage audits. Communities are encouraged to
    become more involved through training and interpretation of the resource
    in their local area.
-   The natural environment as the key tourism resource of the Mournes is to
    be safeguarded and enhanced with both the opportunities it presents and
    restrictions it places being built in at all stages of the Strategy‟s

                                                                       Page No 15

2.1   Name and Contact Details

      The Partnership chosen to deliver the NRRT Initiative is Mourne Heritage
      Trust. This is an existing partnership responsible for a broad management
      remit of the Mourne AONB. Details of the partnership –
      Contact: Tony Gates (manager)
      Address: 87 Central Promenade, Newcastle. Co Down BT33 0HH
      Telephone: 028 4372 4059; Fax 028 4372 6493
      E-mail: mht@mourne.co.uk

2.2   Status of Partnership

      Partners in the Mourne Heritage Trust are as follows:-

      Newry and Mourne District
      Down District Council
      Banbridge District Council
      Environment and Heritage Service
      Mourne Communities
      Environmental interests
      Land-owning and farming interests
      Recreational interests
      Private sector and business interests

      The Trust‟s mission is:-

                                                                     Page No 16
„To sustain and enhance the environment, rural regeneration, built and
cultural heritage and visitor opportunities of the Mourne Area of
Outstanding Natural Beauty‟.

The Trust was established in June 1997 and is incorporated as a company
limited by guarantee, registration number NI 32946.         The Trust is also
accepted as a charity for tax purposes by the Inland Revenue, reference
number XR 23015.

The operations and management of the Trust are governed by its
Memorandum and Articles of Association (Appendix 3.2).

The Trust is managed by a board of 21 Trustees who serve as Directors of
the Limited Company. They are responsible for all aspects of the company.
The Trust operates a wider membership through the “Friends of Mourne” of
which there are 80 members. They serve as a board consultative and
advisory forum for the Trust. The Trust has an Executive Committee of
seven members which has delegated to a number of functions by the
Trustees. The Executive contains the main officers of the Board, including
the company chair, secretary and treasurer plus four trustees. There are
also a number of sub-committees which advise the Trust on specific
subjects, projects and programmes.

The Trust staff are headed up by a manager and employs a built heritage
officer, a countryside projects manager, an office manager, 2 countryside
officers, an area ranger and an administrative assistant.

                                                                    Page No 17
2.3   Membership of the Partnership

      20 of the 21 Trustees either live or work within the AONB. There are 2
      representatives from EHS, 2 from NITB, 2 from each of the District
      Councils, 2 from DARD (Community Development Network), 2 community
      representatives, 3 landowners/farmers, 2 environmental interests, 1
      outdoor education representative and 1 private sector/tourism business
      representative. 14 of the Board of Trustees are male and 7 are female and
      of the current 8 employees of the Trust 4 are male and 4 are female. 11
      members of the Board are from the Protestant Community and 10 from the
      Roman Catholic Community. 5 employees are from the Protestant
      Community and 3 from the Roman Catholic Community.

      Pen pictures for Trustees are set out in Appendix 3.3

      The Trust operates a clear decision making structure. It operates a number
      of sub groups to advise specific matters on recreation, built heritage. All
      decisions made by the Executive Committee or sub-committees are subject
      to ratification by the Board of Trustees and are reflected in the official
      minutes of the Board. Each group of the Trusts core funders have observer
      status on the Board of Trustees and all are copied relevant reports and

      Financial accountability is based on that for District Councils. The Trust
      has been regularly audited by DARD. All payments are by cheque and
      invoices are circulated at and approved by formal resolution either at the
      Board of Trustees or Executive Committee. The Trust keeps computer
      based financial and payroll records and produces annual audited accounts
      each year. The Trust auditors are MB McGrady & Co. Downpatrick.

                                                                        Page No 18
2.4   Operational Structure for NRRTI

      Production of this Strategy was overseen by the Strategic Policy Group, a
      group of officials from key partners. This Group is made of the following

      -   Tony Gates – Manager, Mourne Heritage Trust;
      -   Liam Hannaway – Director of Development, Banbridge District Council;
      -   Sharon O‟Connor – Director of Economic Development, Down District
      -   Gerard McGivern – Director of Development, Newry and Mourne District
      -   Nicholas McCrickard - East Down Rural Community Network
      -   Patrick Kelly – ROMAL
          The role of the group was to shape the direction of the Strategy and
          ensure that it addressed the needs and opportunities of the areas as
          well as ensuring a policy fit with the Peace II programme, District wide
          strategies, regional marketing strategies, the Mourne Heritage Trust
          operational plan and the plans of key executive agencies operating in
          Mourne. This group has been supported by consultants. The table in
          Appendix 3.1 shows the operational structure that has been put in
          place to deliver the programme.

2.5   Administrative Staff – Operation of NRRTI

      Management of the initiative will be provided by the Mourne Heritage Trust
      as the corporate body responsible for the delivery of the NRRT programme
      in Mourne and following the approval of the Strategy a team will be
      employed to oversee the implementation of the strategy.

                                                                        Page No 19
The     Mourne   Heritage   Trust   will   employ   all   staff,   provide   office
accommodation and       equipment      and   provide all     payroll   and    staff
management services required for the effective implementation of the
programme. Direct management of the programme will be undertaken by
the Trust Manager. The Trust will also provide staff, director and public
liability insurance.

The Mourne Heritage Trust currently employs a core staff of eight. It is
proposed that the Trust will employ a separate staff team to deliver the
NRRT programme on a fixed contract basis until 2006 in order to see the
programme through to completion. Any support services required from
the MHT will be charged to the programme on a „at cost‟ basis, and a small
annual allocation is made within the administrative budget to allow for

                                                                        Page No 20
      The proposed staffing structure is:-

                                Programme Manager

                                    Project Officer

                       Administrative/Finance/Information Officer

Full job descriptions are shown in Appendix 3.4.

                                                                    Page No 21
2.6     Administrative Costs

1. Staffing Costs                             Total Cost (inc Nics/Pension)      Salary Scale

   Programme Manager                          28,500                             37 – 42
   Project Officer                            20,000                             25 – 30
   Administrative/Finance Officer             15,000                             15 - 20
   Travel and Subsistence                      8,000
   Staff Training                              2,500

    Sub Total Year 1                          74,000
2. Overheads

   Office Rental                               4,000
   Mobile Phones                                 500
   Telephone/Fax                               2,000
   Postage                                       900
   Photocopying/stationery/office supplies
   Printing and publicity                      3,000
   Insurance                                   3,000

      Sub Total Year 1                        13,400
3. Other Costs

   Strategic management, payroll, accounts,
   procurement and technical support (MHT &
   others)                                    10,000
   Board and sub-group training and
   expenses                                    5,000
   Contingency                                 5,000

  Sub Total Year 1                            20,000
4. One-off Start-up Costs

   Sustainable Tourism Strategy Development   25,000
   Computer equipment                          5,000
   Office furniture and misc equipment         2,500
   Structural changes to office                4,000
   Telephone internet line installation        1,000
   Board and sub-group training and

                                                                              Page No 22
   orientation                                  5,000
   Printing, publicity, information panels     10,000
   Contingency                                  2,500

  Total start up costs year 1                  55,000

Total costs year 1 (Oct 02 – Sept 03)                   162,400
Total costs year 2 + 3.5% (Oct 03 – Sept 04)            111,160
Total costs year 3 + 3.5% (Oct 04 – Sept 05)            115,050
Total costs year 4 + 3.5% (Oct 05 – June 06)             89,301
TOTAL ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS to June 2006             477,917

                                                                  Page No 23
2.7   Equal Opportunities Policy

      This statement expresses the policy of Mourne Heritage Trust on equality
      of opportunity in employment.

      1.    Objectives

            The Mourne Heritage Trust recognises its legal obligations under
            the Fair Employment (NI) Act 1976 & 1989 and is committed to
            providing equality of opportunity for all its employees and
            applicants for employment, and to fulfilling its social responsibility
            towards its employees in the community in which it operates.

            The aim of our policy is to ensure that the talents and resources of
            employees are utilised to the full and that no employee or job
            applicant receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of their
            Sex, Marital Status, Religion, Political Opinions or Disability or is
            disadvantaged by any conditions or requirement which cannot be
            shown to be relevant to performance.

      2.    Policy

            The principle of equality of opportunity will apply to recruitment,
            promotion, training and all terms and conditions of employment
            and to this end the Trust will:-

               Monitor the effectiveness of its equal opportunity policy and will
                review its personnel practices and procedures regularly to
                maintain a system where individuals are selected, promoted and
                treated solely on the basis of their merits and ability appropriate
                to the job.

                                                                          Page No 24
        Commit to providing a harmonious working environment for all
         our employees.

        Seek to give all employees equal opportunity and encouragement
         to progress within the organisation by implementing a positive
         action programme, where appropriate.

        Distribute and publicise this policy statement throughout the
         Trust and elsewhere as is from time to time appropriate.

        Provide facilities for any employee who believes that inequitable
         treatment has been applied to him or her within the scope of this
         policy to raise the matter through the appropriate grievance

     The organisation recognises the need for continuing action to
     encourage equality of opportunity within           all aspects of its

3.   Responsibility

        All employees have a responsibility to accept their personal
         involvement in the practical application of this policy, but specific
         responsibility   falls   upon   Managers,   Supervisors   and   staff
         professionally involved in recruitment, employee administration
         and training.

        All employees will be expected to act in accordance with
         company policy, failure to do so will be regarded as misconduct
         and may lead to disciplinary proceedings.

                                                                    Page No 25
     The Trust Manager, Tony Gates, will be responsible personally for
     implementing the Equal Opportunity Policy, as agreed by the Board.
     He will also be responsible for initiating any action necessary to
     ensure that the Equal Opportunity Policy is, and can be seen to be,
     working in practice.

4.   Application


     (a)   Advertising

           The organisation will advertise all job vacancies in such a way
           as to provide equality of opportunity for all sections of the

     (b)   Application Forms

           The organisation will require Application Forms to be
           completed by all candidates.

     (c)    Selection

            The organisation will, in relation to each recruitment:-

            (i)    Prepare Job Descriptions defining the purpose of the
                   job and listing the broad range of duties.

            (ii)   Prepare Personnel Specifications, defining the essential
                   and preferred job related criteria.

                                                                  Page No 26
      (Both the above documents will be available to all candidates
      if required)

      (iii)    Ensure that short-listing for interview is based on job-
               related criteria, systematically applied.

      (iv)     Interview the short-listed applicants by at least two

      (v)      Select employees on the basis of merit alone, ignoring
               gender, religious belief, political opinion or any other
               irrelevant factor.   The organisation will not employ
               reverse discrimination to correct any imbalance that
               may arise.

      (vi)     Use a relevant and job-related skills to assist in the
               objective assessment of applicants.

      (viii)   Record reasons for all recruitment decisions.

Selection for Promotion, Training, Transfer and Redundancy

On occasion when decisions are made (in relation to existing staff)
on selection for promotion, training, transfer and redundancy, the
organisation undertakes to use the formal procedures outlined
under 4(c) above.


                                                               Page No 27
The organisation will monitor the perceived community background
of existing staff, and will monitor all future selection decisions
regarding promotion, training, transfer and redundancy.

Working Environment

All employees are required to comply with the Trust‟s policy of not
permitting the display of flags, emblems, posters, graffiti, or other
material nor the circulation of literature, nor the deliberate
articulation of slogans or songs likely to be provocative, offensive,
intimidating, or in any way likely to cause discomfiture or unease for
any employee, potential employee or customer of the organisation.

Trade Unions

The organisation will inform all Trade Unions of this Policy and enter
into any necessary negotiations in respect of any areas where this
policy may conflict with existing agreements.

                                                            Page No 28
Sectarian Harassment

The organisation will not tolerate Sectarian Harassment against any
individual or group of employees.      Employees have the right to
complain should it occur. The Contract of Employment clearly states
the disciplinary procedures in relation to Sectarian Harassment,
which will be strictly enforced.

Sexual Harassment

All employees have the right to be treated with dignity.       Sexual
Harassment at work will not be permitted or condoned and
employees have the right to complain should it occur. The Contract
of Employment clearly states the disciplinary procedures in relation
to Sexual Harassment, which will be strictly enforced.

Grievance Procedure – Sectarian/Sexual Harassment

Employees subjected to Sectarian or Sexual Harassment should
complain to the Trust Manager or Trust Chair who will deal with the
allegations seriously, expeditiously and confidentially.   Employees
will be protected against victimisation or retaliation for bringing a
complaint of harassment and appropriate disciplinary procedures
will be taken against employees found guilty of harassment.

Disciplinary Procedures

The organisation is an equal opportunity employer, and all
employees must adhere to this policy. Any employee found to have
wilfully discriminated against any other employee in organisation
matters is liable to disciplinary action. Similarly any employee found

                                                            Page No 29
to have wilfully harassed any other employee either sexually or by
sectarian harassment will be liable to disciplinary action.

                                                              Page No 30

 3.1a Measures of Deprivation

          It should be noted that the deprivation statistics do not include the Wards
          of Gransha, Ballyward, and Burren and Kilbroney, which are wards that
          emerged after reorganisation in 1993. The source data for these statistics
          were based on those Wards that have existed since 1984. Data is not
          available for the Wards of Drumadonnell, Cranfield and Drumgath.

 Table 1 – Measures of Deprivation, Ward Level Summary
 Ward Name        District    Rank of    Rank of Rank of Rank of    Rank of   Rank of Rank of   Rank of
                  Council     Multiple   Income Employ     Health   Education Access   Social   Housing
                   Area      Deprivation Domain    ment    Domain   Domain    Domain Environ    Domain
                              Measure             Domain                               - ment
                              Domain                                                   Domain
Katesbridge Banbridge           356       410      451      412       277       56      560         50
Rathfriland   Banbridge         179       163      251      93        133      266      247         433
Croob         Banbridg          405       420      447      487       234       70      542         294
Garron        Banbridg          325       363      416      310       256       40      509         217
Castlewellan Down               196       152      236      105       271      187      209         434
Donard        Down              413       438      304      354       509      297      84          299
Dundrum       Down              244       237      346      153       166      173      114         454
Dunmore       Down              387       446      485      170       364       80      374         478
Murlough      Down              155       139      244      113       115      238      102         325
Shimna        Down              315       273      266      175       424      475      57          432
Tollymore     Down              283       235      270      302       298      100      308         410
Annalong      Newry             249       281      268      358       120       76      263         384
Ballycrossan Newry              288       288      296      114       321      218      472         237
Binnian       Newry             301       343      457      167       180       69      392         535

                                                                                       Page No 31
Clonallan      Newry        209       201    171     107     323      363    92          333
Kilkeel        Newry        221       193    291     243      84      330    72          481
Central        and
Kilkeel        Newry        194       183    357     140      91      257   107          197
South          and
Lisnascree     Newry        222       271    168     213     279      71    403          233
Mayobridge     Newry        308       247    319     332     272      107   524          255
Rostrevor      Newry        285       243    282     191     264      157   385          536
Seaview        Newry        344       263    284     339     288      391   175          349
Spelga         Newry        149       175    181     155     176      41    322          311

          The above information has been compiled from statistics prepared by the
          Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency in July 2000. The report
          details amongst other Measures of Deprivation, seven ward level Domain
          Deprivation Measures and an overall ward level Multiple Deprivation

          The Deprivation Measures are made up of separate „domains‟ of
          deprivation which reflect different aspects of deprivation. Each domain is
          made up of a number of indicators. The Domain Deprivation Measures

          -   Income – to highlight those homes in receipt of benefits;
          -   Employment – shows enforced exclusion from work;

                                                                            Page No 32
-   Health – highlights poor quality of life and illness;
-   Education – shows levels of education;
-   Geographical access – accessibility to key services such as doctors or
    post office;
-   Social environment – reduced quality of life due to being affected by
-   Housing – condition of housing

The Domain Deprivation Measures are weighted in terms of their
contribution to an overall concept of multiple deprivation and robustness
of the indicators comprising the domain, giving a weighting as follows:-

   Income 25%
   Employment 25%
   Health Deprivation and Disability 15%
   Education, skills and training 15%
   Geographical Access to Services 10%
   Social Environment 5%
   Housing 5%.

These weights were applied to the domains accordingly and the weighted
domains were summed to generate the overall Multiple Deprivation

The overall Northern Ireland ranking for the three District Council Areas
within the study area (Banbridge, Down and Newry and Mourne) shows
Newry and Mourne to be the most deprive d of the three in terms of
income and employment (3rd overall in Northern Ireland in both), then
Down (11th and 7th respectively and finally Banbridge (22nd in both).

                                                                   Page No 33
     Table 1 above shows the breakdown of the District figures into Wards. Each
     of the Wards are ranked under each of the Domains, 1 being the most
     deprived and 566 being the least for all of Northern Ireland. The overall
     Multiple Deprivation Measure shows Splega, Murlough and Rathfriland as
     the most deprived in the study area. The individual domains for each of
     these Wards show that Garron is the most deprived in terms of Access,
     Murlough in terms of income and Rathfriland in terms of health. With
     regards the other Domains, Lisnacree is the most deprived in terms of
     employment (perhaps due to being in the remote high Mournes); Kilkeel
     Central the most deprived in terms of education; the Newcastle Ward of
     Shimna in terms of poor social environment and Katesbridge has the worst
     housing conditions.

3.1b Rural Development Council (Rural Baseline Study for Northern

     The Rural Development Council (RDC) have recently published a Rural
     Baseline Report for Northern Ireland. As part of this report a deprivation
     analysis was carried out.

     To supplement the above deprivation statistics, the following is a summary
     of the RDC information on deprivation within the target area for this
     Strategy. Extract tables from the findings of this analysis are in Appendix 5

     a. Tourist trips, nights spent and total expenditure
         i. Total trips (1999) - Down is 4th highest in Northern Ireland with 152,
           Newry and Mourne is 11th with 72 and Banbridge is 23rd with 19;
         ii. Nights Spent (1999) – Down is 3rd in Northern Ireland with 668,
           Newry and Mourne 12th with 293 and Banbridge 24th with 87;

                                                                        Page No 34
   iii. Total Expenditure (1999) – Down is 7th in Northern Ireland with
      £16.7 million, Newry and Mourne is 13th with £7.2 million and
      Banbridge is 24th with £2.2 million

b. Average Weekly Income (by Local Government District)
   Banbridge District is 10th in Northern Ireland, Newry and Mourne is 20th
   and Down is 22nd .

c. Percentage Unemployed in Target Area
   Dundrum, Murlough and Shimna Wards have the highest unemployment
   rates in the target area at 3.12%, 3.77% and 2.92% respectively;
   Castlewellan is the lowest at 0.95%. The average unemployment rate for
   the Target area is 2.21%.

d. School Leavers with at least 5 GCSEs and those who go to further
   Kilkeel Central, Dundrum and Rathfriland have the lowest number of
   schools leavers with at least 5 GCSEs and the lowest numbers going on
   to further education. It should be noted however that the statistics
   show actual numbers for each of these Wards and not as a percentage
   of the total population – a true representation may not be shown.

                                                                 Page No 35
3.2   Relevant Strategies, Plans and Policies

      a. Mourne Environmental and Visitor Management Strategy (1994) – This
         is a strategic document which led to the establishment of Mournes
         Heritage Trust and sets out the future environmental and visitor
         management programmes and projects for the Mournes and Slieve
         Croob AONB. Extensive consultation was carried out during the
         production of this Strategy with District Councils, public agencies,
         landowners, communities and tourism providers. Two elements were
         identified as having the greatest potential to be the mechanisms
         through which rural regeneration of the Mournes could take place –
         Environment and Tourism. The Strategy then makes recommendations
         as to the potential action plan and gives short medium and long term
         priorities for Environment and Tourism.

      b. Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy (1999) – The „Rio summit (1992)‟
         identified the need to protect and conserve the „diverse variety of life
         found on earth‟.      The UK government ratified this convention and
         launched the Biodiversity: the UK action plan (1994) that required
         regions to identify threatened species and habitats within their
         jurisdiction.   The Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy 1999 was
         prepared by the DoE and identifies the main features of biodiversity in
         the Province and the main factors impacting upon them.           It also
         proposed a comprehensive set of strategic measures designed to
         support the conservation of biodiversity for the period 1999 – 2014.
         the important issues for Northern Ireland were grouped under eight
         general   categories, covering agriculture, forestry, marine, water
         management, construction and development, tourism, peat lands and
         introduced species.

                                                                       Page No 36
c. Mourne Area Based Strategy (1998) – A key part of the Rural
   Development Programme 1994 – 2001, this strategy was developed and
   implemented by Mourne Heritage Trust. It provides for initiatives on
   Environmental and Tourism management and the funding available to
   assist in the improvement of these two themes. The environmental
   programme dealt with Community and School based environmental
   programmes and environmental business development and the funding
   for each. The tourism programme dealt with recreation and visitor
   management and visitor information and provided a breakdown of
   funding available to assist in for example hostel accommodation,
   cycling trails and tourist information points.

d. Countryside    Recreation   Strategy   for   Northern   Ireland   (1997)   -
   Commissioned by Environment and Heritage Service and Sports Council
   for Northern Ireland, the Strategy sets out an agreed strategic
   framework to ensure proper management and consideration of
   recreation in the countryside. The Strategy focuses on the full range of
   activities that depend upon access to a natural resource for their facility
   base. The fundamental message is that unless recreational use of the
   countryside is managed properly then conflicts and environmental
   damage will inevitably ensue. One of its main recommendations was
   the establishment of a Countryside Access and Activities Network as a
   co-ordinating body, encompassing not only the major organisations
   but also liaison groups for the main interest areas.              Other key
   programmes were planned development of facilities, education and
   training for social accountability.

e. The Mournes Countryside Recreation Strategy (2002) - commissioned
   by the Mournes Heritage Trust and the Countryside Access and
   Activities Network in 2001, is part of an overall approach to ensure that
   there is a pro-active and co-ordinated approach in the Mournes to

                                                                      Page No 37
maximising countryside recreation opportunities in a sustainable
manner. The results of the CRS is most relevant to this Sustainable
Tourism Strategy in that countryside recreation and activities are highly
significant in terms of attracting tourists given that the Mournes are
viewed as an activity destination. The themes in this current Strategy
weigh heavily on the recreation side including walking and cycling. The
CRS has therefore been used to input into the production of this
Strategy. The key findings and recommendations of the report are as
-   there is little opportunity in the Mournes for the „come-and-try-it‟
-   little opportunity for people with disabilities and special needs to
    take activities;
-   more exploitation of air sports;
-   more public watersports sites such as Dundrum Inner Bay;
-   walking access and watersports opportunities along the coastline;
-   zoning and management of jet skiing and water skiing co-
    ordination of multi-use watersports sites along the coast;
-   shore and small boat sea angling promotion;
-   year round activity events; more signed linear access routes for
    riding, off-road cycling, for longer distance walking;
-   resist fencing, masts and wind farms on aesthetic grounds;
-   visitor services and infrastructure;
-   upland management strategy to reconcile the needs of farmers, land
    managers, conservation organisations and recreational users;
-   joint approach between South Armagh, Cooleys and Mournes would
    be worthwhile for walking; training of guesthouse and hotel
    managers to understand the needs of a wider range of activity

                                                                 Page No 38
   With these needs in mind, the Strategy focuses on the following
   1. Communication and marketing
   2. Facilities and infrastructure
   3. Visitor and activity services
   4. Accessibility
   5. Site and area management for sustainable recreation
   6. Events and activities
   7. Research and monitoring

   The Needs Assessment and Action Plan for the Mourne Countryside
   Recreation Strategy are attached at Appendix 4.

f. Mourne and Slieve Croob Environmentally Sensitive Area - Designated
   to encourage farmers to farm in an environmentally sensitive manner to
   preserve scenic beauty and wildlife. Work includes planting hedgerow
   and trees, rebuilding and maintaining stone walls, painting buildings
   and repairing and restoring traditional buildings. Guidance is given to
   prevent damage to sites or monuments of archaeological interest. The
   Mourne ESA has had the highest take up level of all ESA‟s in Northern
   Ireland with over 70% of land within the ESA. The impact of the ESA has
   been greatly reduced in recent years due to the „freezing‟ of the capital
   project element of the scheme.

g. Down Tourism Development Strategy – prepared in May 2001 by Down
   District Council. During the latter half of the 1990‟s, the district of
   Down has been underperforming in tourism terms relative to the other
   leading tourism districts of Northern Ireland. This strategy is required
   to underpin the creation of a successful relationship between tourism,
   local communities and the local economy. The main development
   priorities identified in the Down District Tourism Strategy complement

                                                                  Page No 39
the broad categories of activity that are suggested for inclusion in the
NRRT strategy. The main objectives are to provide walking & cycle
routes,   trekking    trails,    farmyard   parking   concept,    signage,
interpretative panels, picnic areas, conservation and interpretation of
heritage sites, self-catering accommodation, camping site facilities on
farms, enhancement of townscapes, development of a major, tourist
oriented indoor water facility in Newcastle, establishment of a
sailing/watersports centre at the harbour. The Mourne Mountains are
identified as being a separate „tourism development zone‟, with their
own character and strengths.        Physically and scenically the natural
resource is a very important component of the Down District‟s overall
tourism product, and a core part of its image.           In view of the
importance of maintaining the high environmental qualities of this
natural resource, it is considered that development should be limited
and of small scale.
Down District is fortunate to have an exceptionally diverse range of
cultural resources. In recognition of this the council has reconfigured
its own structure to reflect the economic potential to be realised by
aligning Cultural activity and Tourism.

The Department of Cultural and Economic Development combines the
resources of Arts Services, Museum, Tourism, Community Relations and
Economic Development.           The council have prepared strategy for
Cultural Development, Tourism, Economic development and Tourism.
Cultural tourism is recognised as a key component of these plans for
growth. The Down 2010 plan also
addresses the needs of the tourism industry and the local community.

It is envisaged that linking the cultural community and regional tourism
efforts will expand and enhance the use of tourism potential from the

                                                                 Page No 40
   creation, presentation and promotion of the arts and cultural heritage
   in Down.

   The people of Down District will benefit through the promotion of arts
   and cultural heritage programmes designed to attract new visitors,
   stimulate the local economy, generate new jobs, create renewed pride
   and recognition of the value of the arts and in the cultural heritage of
   this creative community.

h. Banbridge District Council‟s Tourism Strategy 2001-2006 - The aims
   and objectives highlighted in the Banbridge Tourism Strategy are
   compatible with the criteria set out in the guidelines for the NRRT

   The main objectives of the strategy are : to stimulate and encourage
   private sector awareness and investment in tourism; increase visitor
   numbers, lengths of stay and spend; improve visitor satisfaction and
   develop distinctive tourism products.

   The eastern half of the district lies within the Mourne Area of
   Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), much of which is covered by the
   typical rolling drumlins of County Down, leading into the foothills of
   the High Mournes at the important peak of Slieve Croob, the source of
   the River Lagan.

   Banbridge Tourism has identified this „Green‟ environment as a major
   strength of the area and aims to develop its tourism base by developing
   compatible tourism products and services. Activity products such as
   walking and cycling have been extensively developed, in particular
   along the famous Newry Canal Navigation with great success and ready
   for further expansion into the wider rural area. The natural lakes and

                                                                 Page No 41
     rivers of the area are also rich in fish stocks (both coarse and game)
     and ideal for the visiting angler.

     The district is rich in culture and heritage with its literary connections
     to the Bronte family, Helen Waddell and Joseph Scriven, and visual arts
     with the late F. E. Mc William.      It has also a strong and vibrant craft
     sector with a major craft retail outlet at Kinallen and an annual two day
     Craft Fair. However, Banbridge Tourism Strategy acknowledges much
     still needs to be done in developing the rural tourism base.

     A number of tourism priority themes applicable to the NRRT area
        -   Accommodation Development – self catering, camping, B&B
        -   Cultural / Heritage Tourism Development – Events and literary ie,
        -   Visitor Attraction Development – special Mourne landscape,
            historical and cultural
        -   Product Development (Activities) – angling ie Ballyroney Lake,
            walking, cycling
        -   Rural and Community Tourism Development – farm based
            holidays and products

        Banbridge supports a partnership approach between the Council,
        tourism      accommodation        and   activity       providers   and     local
        communities     to     develop    and   deliver    a    sustainable    tourism

i.   Newry and Mourne Tourism Strategy (2002) – Newry and Mourne
     District has 3% share of NI tourism product. This Strategy was prepared
     against the background of a decline in the rise in numbers of tourist
     trips, nights and money spent in the District. Since the mid 90‟s there

                                                                              Page No 42
has been a rise in those employed in tourism in the District. The tourist
profile is made up of mainly day trip visitors from Northern Ireland
partaking in walking, heritage and culture activities.

The weaknesses that have been identified in tourism in the area
include:     no   single    attraction;   poor    countryside   access;    small
accommodation base; poor image in some parts; weak culture/heritage
experience and an undeveloped canal and river.

The Strategy places priority on the promotion of walking, angling,
cycling,     Christian     heritage,   golf,   equestrian,   archaeology    and

The main aim of the Strategy is to develop and promote Newry and
Mourne as Ireland‟s most readily accessible tourism destinations
through provision of amenities, facilities & services, marketing its
environment, culture & heritage & activities and strengthening its
tourism base

Under the guiding principles of Sustainable Tourism, Profitability,
Selective Investment, Targeted Marketing and Public Private Sector
Partnership, the above aim will be achieved through targeting in four
key areas:
-   Product Development: develop existing and new attractions;
-   Marketing: develop the destination marketing capacity for the
-   Visitor Servicing: issues of Welcome and Training are considered
-   Management and Co-ordination: support mechanism for tourism to
    achieve a higher profile in the area.

                                                                     Page No 43
     The Mournes are clearly the principal attraction for the Newry and
     Mourne District, especially for walkers, climbers and trekkers. There is
     evidence that the District is falling behind its neighbours in Down and
     Banbridge in using Access to the Countryside legislation to open up the
     Mournes for tourism and recreation purposes. A lack of Waymarked
     ways, properly maintained, will act as a deterrent to maximising
     sustainable economic growth through tourism – for possibly the areas‟
     most important single product.

     The Warrenpoint / Rostrevor area has good potential for further
     tourism growth - based on reviving the pool, increasing tourism events,
     developing an hotel, and a Loughs Interpretive Centre.            Local
     management strategies are needed for Cranfield and Annalong, while
     Kilkeel needs a focus for tourism development related to its fishing
     heritage and operation.

j.   Operational Plan for the Mourne AONB 2001 – 2004 – prepared by the
     Mourne Heritage Trust,    the plan builds on the Trust‟s current key
     activities and, where appropriate, introduces new activities to address
     new and emerging priorities.

     There are 5 key performance targets:
     -   Protection and enhancement of the natural environment: maintain,
         restore and enhance the landscapes and biodiversity of Mourne and
         Slieve Croob AONB; educate and inform widely regarding the
         character, protection and enhancement of Mourne and Slieve Croob

     -   Visitor management and services: enhance the visitor infrastructure
         within the AONB; develop opportunities for public information,

                                                                   Page No 44
          enjoyment,       recreation    and    education;        provide        sensitive
          interpretation in Mourne and Slieve Croob;

      -   Built and cultural heritage: represent built and cultural heritage
          interests to statutory and other relevant agencies and promote best
          practice in management of built and cultural heritage within the

      -   Sustainable     tourism:   promote   best    practice       in   management,
          provision and promotion of sustainable tourism initiatives within the
          AONB; thriving rural tourism sector based on the natural, cultural,
          social   and    recreational   resources    of   the   AONB;         appropriate
          partnerships with similar initiatives elsewhere

      -   Rural and community regeneration: integrate the activities of the
          Trust    with   those   more   directly    involved    in    rural    economic
          development to highlight the role of environment as a key economic
          asset for the Mourne and Slieve Croob Area. Assist in the
          development, packaging and branding of local environmental
          products and produce. To encourage local communities to engage
          in the regeneration of the Mourne and Slieve Croob area in
          environmentally sensitive ways.

k. Area Plans

k.1       Banbridge Area Plan (1986-1998) and Rural Area Subject Plan
          (1986-1999) - Mourne AONB – Zone A – upper slopes of Slieve
          Croob; all development will be restricted unless in public interest.
          Zone B – lower slopes, open landscape, high visual amenity – green
          belt policies apply. Policy DES4 in Planning Strategy for Rural
          Northern Ireland applies to the outer fringe of the AONB. Tourist

                                                                                 Page No 45
      related   proposals   within    AONB    will   be   given   sympathetic
      consideration provided they conserve and enhance the quality of the
      natural landscape. Ballyroney Lake is an ASSI. The Banbridge Area
      Plan is now past its notional end date (still remains the relevant Plan
      for the District) and is currently being reviewed along with the
      Newry and Mourne Plan. A Draft is due in early 2003.

k.2   Newry and Mourne Area Plan (1984-1999) and Rural Area Subject
      Plan (1986-1999) - Mourne AONB – development is considered on
      its contribution to the natural beauty and amenity of the area. Zone
      A – all development will be restricted unless in public interest. Zone
      B – lower slopes, open landscape, high visual amenity – green belt
      policies apply. Policy DES4 in Planning Strategy for Rural Northern
      Ireland applies to the outer fringe of the AONB. Recreation potential
      of Zone A is accepted by Planning Service and proposals for this will
      be given favourable consideration in the public interest. Tourism -
      Concerns over the impact of tourist development on the AONB. Sites
      for caravans zoned at Cranfield and Leestone Point; touring sites
      should be beside static sites or as part of farm diversification
      scheme. Hotels, guest-houses and self catering accommodation,
      best located within existing derelict buildings. Recreation centres
      given favourable consideration and developed on their merits.
      Conservation – Mourne Mts and area around Greencastle are Sites of
      international importance (SACs, Ramsars, SPAs); Sites of National
      Importance (NNR, ASSI) east of Rostrevor, north of Cranfield, south
      of Ballymartin and north of Annalong. Carlingford Lough is a SPA
      and RAMSAR. The sites are covered by planning policies in PPS 2 –
      Nature Conservation. The Newry and Mourne Area Plan is now past
      its notional end date (still remains the relevant Plan for the District)
      and is currently being reviewed along with the Banbridge Area Plan.
      A Draft is due in early 2003.

                                                                    Page No 46
k.3      Down Area Plan - Tourism – encourage tourist facilities while
         conserving and enhancing the landscape. Increase accommodation
         provided it is compatible in terms of location siting design.
         Favourable consideration given to conversions of buildings to tourist
         accommodation on the seafront in Newcastle, chalets within
         grounds of hotels. No more static caravan sites, but touring and
         camping sites may be permitted. Newcastle generally seen as a
         tourist resort and expansion as such will be facilitated. Sympathetic
         consideration given to leisure facilities in relation to walking, forest
         and mountain activities. AONB – policy DES4 of Planning Strategy for
         Rural Northern Ireland applies. Areas of International Importance –
         Mournes and Murlough (btwn Dundrum and Newcastle). Areas of
         National Importance – 2No within the study area.

l.    Regional Development Strategy – Shaping our Future 2025
      The document was published in September 2001 and will guide the
      future development of Northern Ireland to 2025. Relevant policies
      which may having a bearing on the study area include:

      Rural Northern Ireland
      SPG-RNI 1: To maintain a working countryside with a strong mixed use
      rural economy

      SPG-RNI 4: To create an accessible countryside with a responsive
      transport network that meets the needs of the rural community.

      SPG-RNI 5: To continue to create and sustain an attractive and unique
      rural environment in the interests of the rural community and the
      Region as a whole

                                                                       Page No 47
   Supporting Economic Development
   SPG-ECON 7: To promote a sustainable approach to the provision of
   tourism infrastructure

   SPG-ECON 8: To establish a world-wide image for Northern Ireland,
   based on positive images of progress, and attractive places to visit

   SPG-ECON 9: To protect and enhance a varied range of tourism
   development opportunities

   SPG-ECON 10: Identify Major Tourism Development Opportunities for
   the Private Sector to Develop „Destination Resort‟ complexes in
   Northern Ireland, based on Distinctive Tourism Themes.

   Caring for the Environment
   SPG-ENV 1: To conserve the natural environment.           ENV 1.4 states
   „…consider the establishment of one or more National Parks where
   there is high landscape quality, significant recreation and tourism use
   or potential, the local community is in favour and an acceptable model
   can be agreed‟.

   SPG-ENV 2: To protect and manage the Northern Ireland Coastline

m. Planning Policy Statements

   These are a series of documents produced by Planning Service that
   detail land use planning policy for a number of land use types and are
   applicable to all of Northern Ireland. Of particular relevance to the study
   area are the following.

                                                                    Page No 48
   PPS2 – Nature Conservation - this describes the policy that helps to
   protect designated areas and outlines the criteria which the Planning
   Service will employ when processing planning applications which might
   affect nature conservation interests and to which developers should
   have   regard   when     preparing   proposals.     Policy   covers   sites   of
   international importance such as SACs and SPAs and sites of national
   importance such as ASSIs and Nature Reserves, all of which are found
   within the Mournes target area.

   PPS 6 - Planning, Archaeology and the Built Heritage - this PPS sets out
   the Department‟s planning policies for the protection and conservation
   of archaeological remains and features of the built heritage. It
   embodies the Government‟s commitment to sustainable development
   and environmental stewardship. The relevant sections of this document
   are as those dealing with archaeology, listed buildings and industrial
   heritage. Relevant policies cover: The Preservation of Archaeological
   Remains of Regional Importance and their Settings; Demolition of a
   Listed Building; Development affecting the Setting of a Listed Building;
   Industrial   Heritage;   New   Development     in    a   Conservation     Area;
   Demolition in a Conservation Area; The Re-use of Non-listed
   Vernacular Buildings. There is a rich resource of non-listed vernacular
   buildings within the target area and two village conservation areas in
   Rostrevor and Castlewellan.

n. Planning Strategy for Rural Northern Ireland

   This document was published in 1993 and lists land use policies in
   relation to the towns and rural areas throughout Northern Ireland
   outside Belfast and Londonderry. This document is gradually being
   superceded by Planning Policy Statements.

   Policy DES4 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty - „To require
   development proposals in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty to be

                                                                         Page No 49
sensitive to the distinctive character of the area and the quality of their
landscape, heritage and wildlife.‟

Policy GB/CPA 2 [Non-Residential Uses] - “In Green Belts and
Countryside Policy Areas, planning permission will be granted for the
construction of new buildings, or for the change of use of existing
buildings for appropriate non-residential development that is:

   a necessary community facility to serve the local rural population.

   Necessary for outdoor sport or recreation

   A tourism scheme

   Essential to the needs of agriculture

Policy SP 13 [The Coast] seeks to protect the coast from inappropriate

Policy CO1[The Undeveloped Coast] aims to conserve the natural
character and landscape of the undeveloped coast.

Policy CO2 [The Developed Coast] aims to encourage and support
proposals for enhancement and regeneration of urban waterfronts

Policy   CO5    [Tourist    and   Recreation   Schemes]   in   exceptional
circumstances tourist facilities or recreational schemes may be granted
in the undeveloped coast provided it would not lead to unacceptable
impairment of the amenity of the area

Policy DES 5 [Buildings in the Countryside] provides that:

“Planning permission will be granted for the erection of a building in
the countryside which is:

                                                                 Page No 50
            in a locality which has the capacity to absorb another building,
         without adverse impact on visual amenity;

            on a site which can be visually integrated into the landscape; and

            of an appropriate design for the locality;

         and provided it meets other planning criteria and policy requirements.”

3.3   Implications of Existing Strategies, Policies and Plans

      The above strategies, plans and policies all have a bearing on the
      implementation of a current tourism Strategy:

         i. Strategies        -        these   include     the    Visitor   and   Environmental
             Management Strategy, Mourne Area Based Strategy, Countryside
             Recreation Strategy Mournes Operational Plan for the Mournes AONB
             and Council Tourism Strategies. These all have their own objectives
             and programmes including:
             -   environmental and visitor management programmes;
             -   community and school based environmental programmes and
                 visitor management and visitor information programmes;
             -   identification of recreation needs, which have a bearing on
                 tourism, such as need for more watersport sites, walking
                 opportunities for the coastline, zoning and management of
                 watersports, angling, activity events, upland management and
                 joint approach with South Armagh, Cooley Peninsula;
             -   Protection       of    natural,   built    and     cultural   heritage,   visitor
                 management, sustainable tourism and rural and community

                                                                                      Page No 51
      -   identification of priorities for Councils in terms of providing
          tourism infrastructure, promotion, information provision and
      -   The Countryside Recreation Strategy for Northern Ireland (1997)
          sets out a number of guidelines for developing Countryside
          Recreation in a sustainable and environmentally acceptable
          manner.      The value of the establishment of local forums to
          manage local issues is highlighted.
      -   The      Northern   Ireland   Biodiversity   Strategy   proposes
          strengthening the legislative protection of special areas for
          biodiversity, protecting rare or threatened habitats and species
          and conserving genetic biodiversity. The Mournes contain many
          key habitats and species identified.         The Strategy places
          particular emphasis on improving the availability of information
          on biodiversity, raising the general awareness and understanding
          of biodiversity and encouraging action for biodiversity at a local

      All these strategies are consistent with the NRRTI, and the vision for
      sustainable tourism development in Mourne being put forward in
      this strategy.

ii.   Plans – includes the current Area Development Plans, as produced
      by Planning Service for each of the District Council Areas. These
      include policies that place restrictions on new development in
      AONBs, Green Belts and the open countryside which would have an
      effect on the provision of new buildings in relation to tourism.
      However, each of the plans indicate that favourable consideration is
      normally given to tourism and recreation proposals provided they
      preserve or enhance the character of the area. In most occasions,
      tourism projects in areas of high scenic value would be assessed as

                                                                  Page No 52
   to whether they were in the public interest. The Plans also aim to
   direct tourist accommodation to reuse existing and derelict
   buildings and for farms to be used for touring caravan sites. The
   policies within the Regional Development Strategy apply to all of
   Northern Ireland and inform the Area Plan. This document concurs
   with the above existing Strategies including promoting rural
   industries and leisure and tourism opportunities in the countryside;
   providing more public transport into remote rural areas for tourists;
   promoting culture and environmental tourism; branding of tourism
   products and promotion of a National Park. The document promotes
   the Mournes as an area for walking and mountaineering.

iii. Policies – these are produced by Planning Service and include the
   Planning Policy Statements (PPS‟s) and the Planning Strategy for
   Rural Northern Ireland (PSRNI). The relevant PPS‟s deal with the
   policy for controlling development in or adjacent to sensitive sites
   such as Special Areas of Conservation, ASSIs, archaeological sites,
   listed buildings and conservation areas. Many of the areas or sites
   within the Mournes that attract tourists are also affected by one or
   more of the above designations. The planning policy is there to
   protect these assets for the enjoyment of everyone. Over use by
   tourists or development that would have a detrimental affect on
   such resources is discouraged. In summary, these designations can
   act as constraints on development. The PSRNI policies are also
   constraints on development, but state that tourism development
   proposals will normally be given favourable consideration provided
   they can be integrated with the landscape.

                                                              Page No 53
3.4   Market Research

      The following is a synopsis of market research taken from the Down
      Tourism Strategy and the Newry and Mourne Tourism Development
      Strategy and data available from the Banbridge TIC. The figures do not
      relate precisely to the NRRTI target area, but may be taken as a general
      indication of visits made and activity within the key tourist area of the

      Market research suggests that the target area is predominantly visited by
      people from within Northern Ireland (>50%), who tend to travel there by
      car or bus. The purpose of these visits are mainly for holidays or visiting
      friends and relatives (>50%). The majority of people visiting from within
      Northern Ireland tend to be day visitors (66%), however, visitors from
      outside the Province are inclined to stay overnight (RoI 56%, GB 72% and
      overseas 55%).    The most popular activities within the target area are
      „sight seeing‟ and „walking / hiking‟, with the „scenery / natural beauty‟
      being the most popular reason for visiting the area. These figures are
      taken from the Down District Tourism Development Strategy (May 2001),
      Banbridge District Tourism Strategy (2001-2006) and the Newry and
      Mourne Tourism Development & Marketing Strategy (May 2001).

3.5   Baseline Audit

      TTC International was appointed by the Steering Group from DARD, E&HS,
      NITB and DCAL to undertake a Baseline Study for the Natural Resource
      Rural Tourism Initiative. The work commenced in November 2001, to be
      completed in time to inform the development of the individual area
      strategies for the Initiative. An audit was carried out for each of the NRRTI
      target areas. The following are the findings for Mourne.

                                                                         Page No 54
Key Issues

The main findings of the Baseline Audit are included in Appendix 6. The
following key issues were posed within the Baseline Audit as discussion
points. The text in italics states how, where relevant, this Strategy deals
with the issues in the Baseline Audit.

      No discussion points on this topic.


      -   development of better access to the „wilderness areas‟

      -   focus on the coastal amenities for visitors

      -   developing linkages with the natural assets

      -   usage monitored more effectively

      -   trained human resources
      The Strategy proposes signage and walking and cycling routes into
      all parts of the Mournes; coastal amenities were identified as a main
      need within the Strategy and will be addressed through the visitor
      infrastructure and visitor services programmes and links with
      natural assets established through Nature Cottages and through the
      Living Landscape theme which encourages greater links between
      local communities and the use of natural assets for tourism. The
      proposed visitor monitoring programme and training programme
      directly address the latter two points.


      -   Encourage New Entrants - Average range of courses with some
          beyond catering
      -   Upgrade Existing Skills Fair range of NVQs

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     -   Improving the Welcome -        Full Welcome Host & some other

      A main programme within the Strategy is Training which aims to
     train people in heritage skills and to act as guides. A sustainable
     tourist business start-up programme is proposed specifically to
     encourage new entrants.


     -   Demand for international standard hotel accommodation is high,

         but the area has this in Newcastle in particular.

     -   The high Mournes could utilise some further B&B accommodation

         and arguably self-catering. However the latter would be

         environmentally sensitive and there is still scope to improve

         existing occupancy rates.

     -   Improvement of the lower grade hotels could be justified and

         some resources could be pointed in this direction.

     -   Also there is a case to improve tourist facilities at all types of

         accommodation particularly linked to outdoor pursuits e.g.

         Drying Rooms.

     -   Camping developments should be encouraged linked to other

         rural accommodation

     Projects within the Strategy to establish Mournes Inns, Mourne
     Nature Cottages, farm based (bunk barns and camp sites)
     accommodation, upgrade of existing and new activity related
     accommodation providers directly address the accommodation
     needs identified within the baseline report. Development of an
     international standard hotel was identified as a need within the

                                                                  Page No 56
          Warrenpoint area, but did not emerge as a funding priority under
          this Strategy.


          -   Can marketing expand the visitor base beyond GB & ROI?

          -   Could water based activities and products be marketed


          -   Can the hotel product be linked into marketing of the „outdoors‟?

          -   Is the marketed product delivering in terms of quality –

              accessibility to the „wilderness‟?

          -   Can the domestic market be primed through NRRT?

          One of the proposals under marketing is a Mourne web site and to

          add distinctiveness to the area through branding; Green Charter

          Development and activity based accommodation. The development

          of specific water based activities emerged as a priority through the

          Mourne Countryside Recreation Strategy and provision of necessary

          infrastructure is allowed for within the Strategy.

          TARGET AREAS

          -   PEOPLE AND PLACE document (as in Fermanagh) should be
              produced - a themed and integrated development strategy laying
              great stress on sustainable tourism as a building block for
          -   Farmers should be brought into the decision-making process
          -   Should groups become actively involved with visitor management
              by having for example offshoots such as Mourne Country Breaks
              and how do these work in practice?

                                                                         Page No 57
     This Strategy is similar to that produced for Fermanagh as it is
     themed and promotes sustainable tourism. Farmers have been
     involved in the consultation process and targeted through the
     proposed farm accommodation projects.        The strategy allows for
     further support for regional branding and marketing activities based
     on the natural resources of the area.

     -   collection of best practice visitor information and interpretation
         which can be drawn on
     -   make the public more aware of environmental management in
         their local areas
     -   best practice should be more widely publicised and standardised
     -   awareness and resources be directed to the coastal plain
     These issues have been catered for through the proposed gateway
     centres at key locations, the signage and interpretative programmes
     under Theme 1 and also through the community tourism and
     training proposals in the strategy.


     -   management and training be a mandatory condition of grant
     -   partnerships between different cultural traditions

     A key project within the Strategy is the training of tourism

     businesses in business start up and development. The community

                                                                 Page No 58
             tourism initiatives specifically aim to involve the community and

             ground tourism development in the culture of the area.

3.6   Natural Resource Audit

      The impressive scenery of the Mournes owes much of its appeal to the
      diversity of semi natural habitats combined with land that are actively
      farmed or forested. Extending from mountains to seacoast, the AONB
      contains a rich variety of habitats, including heather, moor, bog and
      upland pastures, through freshwater and woodland to lowland heath and
      coastal areas, each supporting a wide range of plants and animals. The rich
      natural resources of the area are key determinants of how tourism in the
      area can be developed in a truly sustainable manner.

      The key habitats in Mourne are:

            Heather Moorlands
            Woodland
            Heathland
            Hay Meadows.
            Rivers
            The Sea
            Coastal Zone

      Heather Moorland
      The Mournes contain one of the best-developed areas of heathland in
      Europe. A variety of different types of heathland have developed under the
      influence of factors such as climate, altitude and soil conditions, producing
      lowland heath, gorse, wet heath and dry heath. All of these sites are
      proposed as priority habitats in the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy.

                                                                         Page No 59
These habitats hold several proposed NI priority species, including red
Grouse, keeled skimmer, juniper, Irish ladies tresses orchid and the moss
Camp ylopus set follus. The dry heath found in the Mourne Mountains is
one of the best examples of this vegetation type in the UK. The control of
grazing as well as the impact of public access to these areas is key to
successful enhancement and protection. Access proposals should therefore
be closely planned alongside biodiversity need.

Before the Neolithic farmers, most of Ireland would have been covered by
forest. Since then, woodlands have declined in extent as agriculture has
spread with only 6% remaining in Ireland. NI remains one of the least
wooded areas of Europe. Introduced tree species do very well due to the
wet, mild climate.
Non-native conifers such as Sitka spruce, Norway spruce and lodge pole
pine do very well; however, they tend to be less valuable than native trees
for wildlife.
The lowlands and upland margins in the area contain some important oak
woodland, rivers and fens. Priority species include the red squirrel, which is
being replaced by the introduced grey squirrel. The most extensive patches
of old woodland have been preserved in the demesnes of Rostrevor,
Mourne Park, Donard Wood and Tollymore. There are a few broad-leaved
woods such as the oak wood in Rostrevor. This mature wood has native
shrub and ground layers growing beneath the tree canopy. These combine
to provide additional niches for wildlife, increasing the biodiversity in that

Lowland heaths have declined as a result of agriculture reclamation while
in the uplands grazing, especially by sheep, has become intensification,
replacing heather with grasses such as the unpalatable mat grass. On

                                                                    Page No 60
upland margins agricultural reclamation has resulted in significant losses
of lowland heath. Blanket bogs have been cut for turf and have also
experienced heavy grazing as the uplands have become more intensively
used for agricultural production. This favours grazing tolerant species at
the expense of lowland heath and can lead to erosion of the peat as the
vegetation cover is removed.

Hay meadows
Hay meadows are now a rare and threatened habitat. This has a knock-on
effect upon the Irish hare, various butterflies and ground nesting birds
such as the corncrake. Many farmland species are vulnerable to
intensification of agriculture; applications of organic fertilizer can lead to a
decline of some species. Poor hedge management has also reduced wildlife
interests with hedges trimmed either too often or not enough, or at the
wrong time of the year, becoming gappy.

Rivers are dynamic systems that are constantly moving and changing,
depositing sediment. The physical structures that result from these active
processes are vitally important for wildlife, providing a range of niches for
plants and animals to grow, feed or spawn. There can be many different
habitats, including large boulders and rock slabs, shingle and gravel beds,
earth banks and islands. Several rivers are characterized by rocky gorges
and waterfalls, which are rich in mosses and liverworts. Each of these is a
valuable wildlife habitat supporting its own characteristic species. The
variation in habitats in the Mourne Rivers further enhances biodiversity in
the area.

Riparian habitats (water‟s edge) provide food and shelter for wildlife and
form a corridor of habitats along which species can disperse. The river
corridors are particularly important when the surrounding land has been

                                                                      Page No 61
substantially modified by agriculture, forestation or urban development.
They are sources of biological energy and help maintain water quality,
channel structure and flow. Rivers support a large diversity of wildlife,
including animals, birds, fish, insects and wildflowers.

Rivers support a large diversity of wildlife, including animals, birds, fish,
insects and wildflowers. Macro-invertebrates are the small animals that live
in rivers. They include insect larvae such as mayflies and caddis flies,
together with snails, shrimps, worms and many others. Nesting birds
include the dipper. In some places you might see a stately grey heron
standing motionless at the water‟s edge waiting until a fish or frog comes
within striking distance. The otter is a shy water animal seldom seen.
However, you may find its footprints in the riverbanks.

The Sea
In previous years, large skate were found in Carlingford Lough, and
Mourne fishermen had an annual harvest of herring. This is not the case
any more, as fish populations have changed dramatically in rivers and
lakes, caused by problems such as climate change and over-fishing.

Mourne coast
The coastline of Mourne contains many different habitats, including a
mixture of hard and soft cliffs and inter-tidal and sub-tidal sediments. The
salt marsh at Mill Bay in Carlingford Lough is the largest example of this
habitat in NI. Salt marshes support a limited but highly specialised range of
plant species such as lax-flowered sea lavender and sea purslane.
Vegetated shingle banks occur at the upper end of the shore along the
Mourne coast and are important for several species that are scarce in NI,
such as the oyster plant and sea cabbage.
Mourne area is also rich in marine life. Inter-tidal reefs at Glassdrumman
represent the best example of this UK priority habitat. Carlingford Lough

                                                                    Page No 62
has an exceptional range of inter-tidal and sub-tidal habitats found on
rocks and a range of sediment types. A wide variety of invertebrate species
occur   within   the   inter-tidal   mud.   These   are   lugworm,   ragworm,
Oligochaete worms and molluscs such as Maloma balthica. These are an
important food source or a large number of wintering waders.
In addition the islands of the lough internationally important for breeding
terms including the rare roseate tern and wintering wildfowl such as light
bellied Brent Geese

Rocky shores occur on the Mournes Coast at Bloody Bridge, Greencastle
and on the shores of Carlingford Lough. They are very diverse habitats with
characteristic communities associated with different heights on the shore.
Exposed rocky shores are dominated by mussels and barnacles, while
sheltered rock pools contain anemones, hermit, pea, shore, edible and
porcelain crabs, shrimps, small fish and starfish to name a few.

Sub-tidal sand is found in Dundrum Bay. „typical species here include the
sand eel, the burrowing brittle star, the lugworm and sea potato.

Ancient dunes such as those at Murlough National Nature Reserve contain
extensive dune heaths with a range of habitats related to their age and
their calcium levels. They are also home to a variety of plants and animals
including the European endangered species the marsh fritillary butterfly.

Action for Nature Conservation- the implications for NRRTI Strategy
Nature conservation is the term used to describe how we protect our
natural habitat for future generations. This means protecting wild plants
and animals and, most importantly, protecting their habitats.

                                                                     Page No 63
The main aim of nature conservation is to ensure that the natural heritage
is protected and enhanced. To this end, the UK Biodiversity Action Plan was
published in January 1994, followed by the NI Biodiversity Strategy, which
is intended to inform policy and promote action on biodiversity
conservation in Northern Ireland. The strategy involves setting targets and
establishing nature conservation objectives and monitoring systems.

Biodiversity in Mourne is in danger of being damaged or even destroyed
and the development of tourism in the area can represent a significant
threat if it is not implemented in a sustainable manner. There are several
reasons for this. Firstly, the area is under pressure to meet the enormous
growth in recreational use. This causes problems of erosion of vegetation
and disturbance to wildlife. There is continual pressure of development in
Mourne, linked to the growth in tourism and the need for more housing.
Agricultural pressure is also a problem; to earn a decent living farmers are
keeping more livestock and producing more crops, which is brought about
by extensive use of artificial fertilizers, pesticides and draining land. All of
these practices are damaging to wildlife.

Many more common species and habitats are relatively widespread in the
countryside and can be protected by planning controls, environmental
education and financial incentives for farmers to look after their land in an
environmentally friendly way.

The areas that are particularly important for nature conservation are
protected by statutory designation as follows:

Nature Conservation Designations in Mourne AONB

An Area of Special Scientific Interest is an area of land that is of great

                                                                      Page No 64
conservation value.
ASSIs in Mourne are: Eastern Mournes ASSI (7510 hectares), Carlingford
Lough ASSI (1105 hectares), Rostrevor Wood ASSI (16.64 hectares),
Ballybannan ASSI (1.47 hectares) and Black Laugh ASSI (4~.55 hectares)

National Nature Reserves are nationally important sites representing the
best examples of our natural habitats.

Environmentally Sensitive     Areas   are   areas   of   high landscape   and
conservation value in which farmers and other landowners may benefit
from payments for managing their land in ways that conserve and enhance
the landscape, wildlife and historical interests.

Special Protection Areas are a relatively new designation in Northern
Ireland and were formed under the European Union Conservation of Wild
Birds Directive.

Special Areas of Conservation are designated under the EC Habitats and
Species Directive and are another measure to conserve other (non-bird)
species and important habitats, in order to ensure biodiversity.

These are sites of international importance for waterfowl.

In order to ensure the impacts of NRRTI do not threaten the natural
heritage of Mourne the MHT Partnership Shall:

                                                                   Page No 65
   Carry out a more detailed Biodiversity audit and prepare a
    biodiversity action plan for Mourne

   Develop in conjunction with E.H.S a set of environmental assessment
    criteria and assessment indicators against which all applications for
    assistance will be assessed.

   Defer all applications where a potentially significant environmental
    impact is identified for detailed screening by the M.H.T natural
    heritage sub group.

                                                               Page No 66

      The following SWOT has been prepared using a combination of information
      including existing plans and policies, market research, site audits and
      input from local people and organisations. It has been refined following a
      workshop and inputs from the Strategic Policy Group, and incorporates
      many of the findings from the TTC Baseline audit of May 2002.

4.1   Strengths

      Marketing and community

      -   The Mournes and Slieve Croob have a high profile for visitors to the
          Province and the name presents an attractive image.
      -   There is an organisational framework in place and promotional bodies
          such as Mourne Activity Breaks which markets “all inclusive” packages.
      -   The area has a highly developed community development infrastructure
          as represented through the many formally constituted community
          groups in the area and the sub-regional community networks of
          ROMAL (Regeneration of the Mournes Area Limited) and EDRCNN (East
          Down Rural Community Network).

      Environment and Culture

      -   The landscape quality is superb. The area includes the Mournes and
          Slieve Coob Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which was first
          designated in 1966, enlarged in 1986, and encompasses an area of 570
          square miles. Outside the special landscapes the area is predominantly

                                                                        Page No 67
-   The Mournes offer both mountain and coastal scenery including two
    fine sandy beaches at Newcastle/Murlough and Cranfield.
-   There is a general commitment to sustainable development by bodies
    with an interest in the area and a desire to protect the natural resource
    as demonstrated for example by The Mourne Heritage Trust‟s Ranger
    Service and Mourne Conservation Volunteers.
-   There are a number of attractive towns and villages, and whilst only
    Rostrevor and Newcastle are Conservation Areas, others have the
    potential to be so designated.
-   The area contains a number of environmental designations which
    affords a level of protection to key areas , these are :

National nature Reserves
-   Murlough
-   Rostrevor Oakwood

Areas of Special Scientific Interest
-   Eastern Mournes
-   Rostrevor Wood
-   Murlough
-   Carlingford Lough
-   Black Lough
-   Lackan Bog
-   Greenan Lough
-   Ballybannan

Special Protection Areas
-   Carlingford Lough

Special Areas of Conservation
-   Eastern Mournes

                                                                   Page No 68
      -   Murlough
      -   Large tracts of land are in public ownership such as the forests areas,
          and lands and reservoirs belonging to Water Service.     The National
          Trust owns Slieve Donard and Murlough National Nature Reserve.

      -   There is a long tradition of public access in the High Mournes and a
          number of waymarked ways across the area which are supported by
          guidebooks and route cards.
      -   As identified in the baseline audit there is a good range of
          accommodation in Newcastle and Castlewellan and along the coast.
      -   Newcastle is one of Northern Ireland‟s main resort towns offering good
          hotels and visitor facilities.
      -   The area is Northern Irelands premier destination for some countryside
          recreation activities such as mountaineering.
      -   The Mournes contain a number of popular visitor spots.           Visitor
          numbers in 2000 for the main ones area:
          Tollymore Forest Park            187,500
          Castlewellan Country Park             128,600
          Kilbroney Forest Park            100,000
          Silent Valley                          51,194
          Murlough NNR                     100,000 +

4.2   Weaknesses


      -   The area has a poor penetration into overseas marketing relying mainly
          on domestic visitors

                                                                       Page No 69
-   Marketing is split between three Councils which dilutes the Mournes
    brand. The Kingdom of Mournes RTO covers only part of the NRRTI
    area but also areas beyond into North Down and Ards Council areas.
-   There is a limited number of high profile festivals and events which
    would attract and retain visitors from outside the area.     The current
    major festivals are:
-   Mourne International Walking Festival
-   Down Walking Festival
-   British Senior Golf Open
-   Maiden of Mourne Festival
-   Wee Binnian
-   Warrenpoint Blues Festival
-   Fiddler Green Folk Festival
-   The Mournes are primarily perceived as a day trip destination as
    demonstrated by the influx of visitors on a sunny weekend.
Environment and Culture

-   Heather over-grazing is a concern and could remove the attractive
    seasonal purple haze from the mountainsides.
-   Urbanisation of rural road edges, with the introduction of kerbs and
    inappropriate boundary treatments, detracts from the rural landscape.
-   Inappropriate, scattered development, particularly modern housing has
    had a negative landscape and visual impact in some areas.
-   Natural and man-made erosion in the form of the loss of sand from
    beaches, dune erosion due to recreational pressure and upland path
-   Coastal and inland fly-tipping
-   Loss of stone walls and hedges and their replacement with fences. ESA
    grants, that in the past would have encouraged renewal, are no longer

                                                                   Page No 70
-   The intrusion of overhead services is a further diminishment of the
    area‟s character.
-   Sand extraction and quarrying can be visually intrusive, although it is
    recognised that these activities provide employment and there has been
    a long tradition of stone extraction from the area.
-   There is a significant level of building dereliction and decay in
    settlements as was identified in the 1994 Settlement Analysis Report.
-   Flags and emblems, which are present from both traditions, can send a
    negative message to visitors.


-   There are some gaps in the accommodation provision particularly
    related to outdoor activities. There are no hotels between Newry and
    Kilkeel, despite Warrenpoint and Rostrevor being at one time very
    popular holiday destinations.
-   Many areas have limited supporting products, for example eating
    establishments are scarce outside the main towns and pubs often serve
    only alcohol.
-   There is a limited range of specialist activity providers and tour
-   Wet weather attractions are limited, although towns such as Newry on
    the fringe of the area do provide shopping and cultural attractions.
-   There is a lack of evening entertainment for visitors
-   Poor public transport links to other tourist centres and within the
    region means that a car is essential.
-   The relative small length of public rights of way in the area and the de-
    facto access to much of the high Mournes means that the area does not
    compare favourably with similar areas.

                                                                   Page No 71
4.3   Opportunities


      -   A National Park status would provide the area with a well understood
          marketing image.
      -   There is the opportunity to benchmark against National Parks in GB.
      -   Target Tourism Ireland to raise the profile of the area
      -   Put more focus on marketing to special interest visitors eg walking and
          angling tourists
      -   Market a Mournes brand
      -   Joint approach to activity based tourism with South Armagh and the
          Cooley peninsula
      -   Take     advantage   of   the     proximity    to    Belfast   and   Dublin     and
          airports/ferry terminals. In particular the upgrading of the Euroroute
          from the South of Ireland will put the Mournes within easy reach of
          eastern counties and north Dublin City.
      -   Signpost the Mournes off the A1


      -   Train accommodation providers to understand the needs of activity
      -   Offer    more   value     added     products    eg     packaged      activity   and
      -   Renovate derelict buildings in the countryside to provide self catering
          or other tourism products
      -   Encourage farm diversification to service the tourism industry
      -   To develop more existing and dormant rights of way to provide quality
          access to the countryside

                                                                                   Page No 72
-   Enhance facilities for outdoor activities eg more farm car parks and
    long distance walking/cycling routes
-   Develop more gateway centres which provide visitor information and
-   Develop towns in addition to Newcastle as a tourist hub/touring base
-   Consider new tourist attractions that compliment the environment eg
    forest fun/adventure park

Environment and Culture

-   Environmental enhancement of towns and villages
-   Strengthening of the area‟s cultural heritage and the development of
    more cultural and heritage tourism products.

Existing Policies and Plans

-   Tourism   Development       Strategies   –provide   tourist   infrastructure,
    encourage private sector awareness
-   Mourne AONB Operational Plan aims to protect environment and built
    and cultural heritage; enhance the visitor infrastructure; promote
    sustainable tourism; promote regeneration, branding
-   Recreation potential of upland areas recognised in the Banbridge and
    Newry and Mourne Area Plans
-   The Area Plans indicate that tourist related proposals within the AONB
    will be given sympathetic consideration
-   The Area Plans seek to encourage the development of touring caravan
    sites as part of farm diversification scheme and self catering
    accommodation within existing derelict buildings.
-   Sympathetic consideration is given to leisure facilities in relation to
    walking, forest and mountain activities within the Area Plans.

                                                                       Page No 73
      -   The Regional Development Strategy (RDS) promotes a strong mixed use
          rural economy – industry, recreation, tourism; and to create an
          accessible countryside
      -   The RDS encourages sustainable tourism infrastructure based on
          culture, local character, environment and social need.
      -   The RDS promotes exploration of the need for a National Park and to
          promote a world-wide image for Northern Ireland - distinctive assets,
          image, infrastructure, gateways.
      -   Development relating to community facilities, outdoor sport or
          recreation, tourism scheme may be permitted in Green Belts and
          Countryside Policy Areas and the undeveloped coast

4.4   Threats

      -   The area loosing out due to increased competition from comparable
      -   Increasing decline in agriculture could lead to rural depopulation and
          loss of community spirit and community expertise and traditional skills
          form the area.
      -   The decline in agriculture sustainability and changes in farming
          practices and the effect on the farmed landscape as cherished today.
      -   Environmental damage for example due to inappropriate development
          or failure to manage visitors.
      -   Changes to traffic flows with an upgraded A1/Newry bypass could
          discourage southern traffic from turning off into the area.
      -   The development of sustainable tourism facilities has fallen well behind
          many comparable areas in mainland UK and the rest of Europe.
      -   The development of tourism facilities and growth in tourist numbers
          and numbers of people using the countryside represents a significant
          threat if not adequately managed.

                                                                        Page No 74

      Arising from the SWOT Analysis, the socio-economic and policy review, the
      Baseline Audit consultations and inputs from the Strategic Policy Groups
      and others, it has been possible to identify the needs of the Mournes that
      must be addressed if the area is to develop a growth in natural resource

      The Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative has identified a number of
      activities/initiatives that may be supported.     The following paragraphs
      relate the Mournes needs assessment to NRRTI target areas.

      a)    Development of tourism infrastructure - support may be provided
            for projects that create new tourist bedspaces, upgrade existing
            bedspaces, create new visitor facilities, upgrade/expand existing
            visitor facilities, minor infrastructure development and the provision
            of activities and events to encourage tourism.

            Mourne Needs

            i)     To fill gaps in the accommodation provision particularly in
                   relation to activity tourism.
            ii)    To provide a range of accommodation and activity packages
                   that will help to develop the areas as more than a day trip
            iii)   To orientate the visitor at gateway points and make it easy to
                   find destinations and activities.
            iv)    To provide a mix of supporting services and facilities that
                   would be conducive to facilitating an extended dwell time.

                                                                         Page No 75
b)   Tourism Related Businesses - support may be provided for the
     creation of new tourism related businesses and to assist with the
     expansion of existing tourism related businesses.

     Mourne Needs

     i)     To expand and improve the range of visitor services on offer.
     ii)    To offer more opportunities for the tourist to participate in
            countryside recreation activities.

c)   Environmental and Visitor Management Initiatives - support for
     creation     of   car   parking,   minor    infrastructure,   viewpoints,
     interpretation, planting, environmental enhancement and other
     works to the natural environment.

     Mourne Needs

     i)     To address problems of environmental degradation in both the
            towns/villages and countryside.
     ii)    To ensure that visitor pressure does not diminish the natural
            resource by visitor management and education.
     iii)   To extend the geographical spread of visited destinations,
            particularly into the Slieve Croob area.

d)   Training - to enhance the capacity/skills and awareness level of
     those working in tourism in the target areas by providing relevant,
     focused training for individual tourism operators and businesses to
     facilitate growth and to sustain their visitor base and further,
     providing training and technical support for practical visitor
     management initiatives in each of the target areas.

                                                                    Page No 76
     Mourne needs

     i)     To increase the number of tourism related jobs particularly in
            the more rural areas.
     ii)    To increase the understanding amongst tourism product
            providers of the needs of visitors and of potential impacts on
            the natural resource.

e)   New Marketing Initiatives - which will secure growth for the target
     areas and which capitalise on those market sectors and segments
     which are most amenable to the natural resource product.

     Mourne Needs

     i)       To develop a Mourne Brand that will position the area as a
              designation for cultural and activity holidays.
     ii)      To increase its penetration into the overseas market, in
              particular, the British and European markets.
     iii)     To develop more high profile festivals and events that will
            attract tourists.

                                                                Page No 77

6.1   Links and Consultations With Other Groups And Agencies

      Strategic Partners
      As outlined earlier in this bid, the Trust has formed a strategic partnership
      with district councils and sub-regional community networks for the
      development and delivery of the NRRTI programme in Mourne.

      This strategic policy group of key officers will work in addition to the
      formal representation of these bodies on the Board of the Trust. These
      links will help ensure complementarity with these important strategic

      Community Links
      The Mourne Heritage Trust has worked with or has links with a large
      number of community organisations throughout         the Mourne and Slieve
      Croob area. This has given the Trust a valuable network for exchange of
      ideas and information.

      These include:
           Attical Community Association
           Dundrum Village Committee
           Rostrevor Community Association
           Kilkeel Development Association
           River Valley Development Association
           Garran and Croob Development Association
           Finnis Community Association
           Clough Village Committee
           Bryansford Village Committee

                                                                         Page No 78
       Castlewellan Regeneration Ltd
       Clonduff Development Association
       Newcastle 2000
       Mourne Stimulus
       Kilcoo and Tollymore Regeneration Ltd
       Greencastle Community Association

Through our links with these and other groups throughout the area, the
Trust is well placed to identify community needs and opportunities as they
relate to NRRTI.

Community interest will be represented both on the Mourne Heritage Trust
partnership and NRRTI sub-groups during the implementation of the

Farmers and Landowners

In May 2001 the Mourne Heritage Trust, through the work of its Ranger
Service established the Mourne Heritage Trust Farmers Liaison Group. This
Group, which will meet on a six-monthly basis to exchange information
and discuss areas of common concern, has over 30 individual farmers
involved. This Group has also had a study visit to the Wicklow Uplands and
held an organic farming workshop on 11 September 2001.

In addition, the Mourne Heritage Trust has links to the shareholder groups
which control the common land in Mourne. These include the Trustees of:

       Mourne Mountains West;
       Clanawhillan;
       Mourne Mountains Middle; and
       Bats Estate

                                                                Page No 79
The Mourne Heritage Trust also liases regularly with the National Trust who
are an important landowner in the Mourne area.

Some of the above groups are represented on the Board of Mourne
Heritage Trust.

Through these links, the Trust is well placed to develop issues of
countryside management, access and recreation, nature conservation and
farm based tourism diversification initiatives. Farming representation will
be in place both at the Mourne Heritage Trust partnership and on the
relevant sub-groups established for the delivery of NRRTI.

Access Recreation Bodies
Through the Countryside Recreation Working Group (CRWG), which the
Trust services, an effective forum to develop and implement countryside
access and recreation initiatives has been established within the Mourne

Members of the CRWG are:

   Mourne Heritage Trust;
   Down District Council;
   Newry & Mourne District Council;
   Banbridge District Council;
   The National Trust;
   Environment & Heritage Service, and
   Forest Service
   Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN)

                                                                 Page No 80
The CRWG works within the guidelines of the Countryside Access and
Activities Network (CAAN) and the N I Countryside Recreation Strategy.

The CRWG helps achieve consensus on a Mourne-wide level on approaches
to and provision for countryside access, recreation and interpretation and
thus helps advise its constituent members on their action in this area.

The CRWG, in association with CAAN and the Queen‟s University of Belfast
has through NRRTI developed a Countryside Recreation Strategy of the

Through the development and implementation of this strategy as an
integral part of the Sustainable Tourism Strategy. It is anticipated that the
greater involvement of landowners and user groups, in planning and
delivering countryside recreation, will be facilitated.

The CRWG group is an excellent conduit through which a strategic
approach to countryside access and recreation in Mourne can be achieved
and will oversee all aspects of countryside access and recreation
development through the NRRTI Strategy.

The Trust has active links with over 20 primary and secondary schools
throughout the Mourne area.

Tourism Bodies
The Trust has been closely involved in the establishment and development
of Mourne Activity Breaks and works closely with the Tourism Officer in
each of the district councils.

                                                                   Page No 81
      The Trust has also worked closely with the Kingdoms of Down RTO and
      would envisage the involvement of the RTO in the delivery of the NRRTI in

6.2   Wider Networking, Liaison And Co-Ordination

      Since its establishment, the Trust has developed links with a broad number
      of networks and partners on a local, regional, national and international
      basis. These include:

           Regeneration of Mourne Area Limited (ROMAL)
           East Down Rural Community Network
           N I Rural Community Network
           N I Countryside Access and Activities Network
           Northern Ireland Environment Link
           Northern Ireland Protected Areas Network
           Northern Ireland Countryside Staff Association
           Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
           Mourne/Wicklow Twinning Group
           Europarc Atlantic Isles
           The Association of AONBs
           Europarc Federation

      Through its involvement in these networks, the Trust is able to learn from
      the experience of others and assimilate best practice in the area of
      environmental management, sustainable tourism and rural regeneration.

                                                                      Page No 82
6.3   Links With Other NRRTI Areas

      Through its wide networks and the development of this Strategy, the Trust
      has had the opportunity to liaise and discuss with relevant bodies within
      other target areas for NRRTI, the opportunities for joint working and joint
      approaches. It is clear from our discussions that much potential exists for
      links with other NRRTI areas.

      The Mourne Heritage Trust would see some of these links as:

            Joint approaches to administration – such as standardisation of
            application form and guidance notes and technical appraisal of
            Joint training of staff and board members
            Joint programmes which would operate across all NRRTI areas such
            as marketing initiatives, sustainable tourism charter development or
            joint research initiatives.

      In addition, as a close neighbour of the „South Armagh‟ target area, with
      part of both areas falling within the Newry & Mourne District Council area,
      discussions with the Council and South Armagh Tourism Initiative have
      highlighted the need for a co-ordinated approach to the delivery of the
      Initiative in both areas in the interest of avoiding any public confusion.

      Following approval of this strategy, the Mourne Heritage Trust is
      committed to joint working with other NRRTI areas as appropriate.

                                                                           Page No 83
6.4   Links With Key Government Departments

      DARD (Rural Development Division)
      The Mourne Heritage Trust has worked closely with DARD RDD since its
      establishment in 1997.         The Trust delivered the Mourne Area Based
      Strategy as part of the Rural Development Programme between 1997 and

      The Trust continues to work closely with DARD on the development of the
      NRRTI programme and envisages an on-going close working relationship
      with the Rural Area Co-ordinator in Newry throughout the implementation
      of NRRTI.    The RAC will be afforded representation at all levels of the
      planning and decision making structures of NRRTI.

      DARD (Rural Enterprise Development)
      Through the implementation of the Mourne Area Based Strategy Mourne
      Heritage Trust has developed close links with the above teams based in
      Newry and Downpatrick in order to foster a co-ordinated and joint
      approach    to   the   planning   and   practical   implementation   of   farm
      diversification initiatives.    Consultation meetings were held with Ian
      McMordie and Aveen McMullan during the development of the strategy and
      RED will be afforded representation on the appropriate sub-group of

      DARD (Countryside Management Service)
      The Mourne Heritage Trust has since 1997 developed close links with
      DARD CMS. We are currently working with them on initiatives to extend
      the Countryside Management Scheme to upland areas of Mourne outside of
      the Mourne ESA. Our work with the CMS will be on-going throughout the
      period of the implementation of NRRTI and their input on proposed
      initiatives will be sought as necessary.

                                                                           Page No 84
Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB)
NITB is currently a core funder of the Mourne Heritage Trust and as such is
represented on the MHT Partnership at Board level.             This level of
representation is likely to continue throughout the delivery of the NRRTI

In the past Mourne Heritage Trust have liaised closely with NITB in respect
of tourism training initiatives and accommodation, marketing and visitor
information projects. It is anticipated that this relationship will continue
through the development of NRRTI programme to ensure that local actions
are in keeping with the strategic priorities and standards of NITB.

DOE Environment and Heritage Service (EHS)
EHS are the key core funder of the Mourne Heritage Trust. As such EHS
have been closely involved in the development of Mourne Heritage Trust
and its operational initiatives. Key areas where EHS and MHT work closely
together are:

          AONB landscape management
          Habitat   and    bio-diversity   –   nature   conservation       site
          Countryside Access and Recreation
          Visitor Management and Visitor Services
          Built and Cultural Heritage Management

MHT develops initiatives at a local level and relies on EHS for strategic and
technical guidance and support.

A key consideration in the development and implementation of NRRTI is
ensuring that our landscape, natural, built and cultural assets are protected

                                                                      Page No 85
      and enhanced. MHT will work closely with EHS in developing appropriate
      environmental guidelines and indicators for the implementation of NRRTI
      and will ensure that technical advice and statutory approvals are obtained
      from EHS and adhered to by projects as appropriate.


7.1    Vision for 5-10 Years

       The vision for Mourne over the next 5 – 10 years has emerged as seeing
       tourism in the area making a greater contribution to the economic life of
       the area and the maintenance of rural communities. The vision is that
       this will be achieved in a way which enhances the natural and cultural
       assets of the area in ways which continue to define Mourne as a „special‟

       The potential for Mourne to develop as one of Northern Ireland‟s first
       National Parks emerged as a key part of the vision for the area and has
       become a yardstick or quality standard against which the future
       management and development of the area should be measured.

       Whilst the achievement of National Park status for the Mournes remains
       the „bid idea‟ in the vision for the development of sustainable tourism
       and environmental management in the area, this strategy is not
       predicated on National Park status being achieved. The Strategy and its
       themes and proposed actions are planned to be sustainable should
       National Park designation not be achieved.

       The vision for the development of sustainable tourism in the Mournes in
       the next 5 – 10 Years is therefore:

                                                                      Page No 86
           “To develop a sustainable rural tourism sector based on the natural,
           social, cultural and recreational resources of Mourne. To develop Mourne
           as both a day visit and overnight holiday destination with management of
           the   environment,    tourism    infrastructure   development      and    visitor
           management standards commensurate to those of a National Park”

7.2       Inclusion of Others in Developing the Vision

          A draft vision for the area was developed from key existing strategies for
          the area including the Regional Strategy Framework 2025, the AONB
          Operational Plan 2001 – 2004 and recently completed district council
          tourism strategies.

          The vision was agreed with the NRRTI Strategic Policy Group and wider
          NRRTI partnership.

          In addition, the vision was subject to two rounds of public consultation.
          Through all these stages, there was a strong degree of consensus on the
          vision as it is now presented.

7.3       Aims

      -    To facilitate visitor access to the Mournes and to enhance the quality of
           the visitor experience through the provision of visitor management and
           visitor information systems, thereby encouraging an extended stay,
           providing    better   informed    visits   and    thus   alleviating   potential
           environmental impacts.

                                                                                  Page No 87
      -   To fill gaps in the accommodation provision, improve the activity tourism
          product on offer and develop opportunities for the farming population

      -   To protect the natural, built and cultural resources of the Mournes and to
          present these to the visitor.      Particular emphasis will be placed on
          community driven initiatives.

      -   To protect the natural, built and cultural resources of the Mournes and to
          present these to the visitor.      Particular emphasis will be placed on
          community driven initiatives.

7.4       Themes and Action Programme

          The following themes have been developed in response to identified
          needs and are consistent with the overall aims and objectives of the NRRT
          Initiative. The five initial themes presented to the consultation workshops
          have been reduced to four and read as follows:

          Theme 1 Public Infrastructure and Visitor Management

          The objective is to facilitate visitor access to the Mournes and to enhance
          the quality of the visitor experience through the provision of visitor
          management and visitor information systems, thereby encouraging an
          extended stay, providing better informed visits and thus alleviating
          potential environmental impacts.

                                                                           Page No 88
      Theme 2 Tourism Enterprises in the Mournes

      The objective is to fill gaps in the accommodation provision, improve the
      activity tourism product on offer and develop opportunities for the
      farming population.

      Theme 3 Mourne-Living Landscape

      The objective of this programme is to protect the natural, built and
      cultural resources of the Mournes and to present these to the visitor.
      Particular emphasis will be placed on community driven initiatives.

      Theme 4 Product Development and Marketing

      The objective of this programme is to develop an understanding by
      accommodation providers and others of the needs of tourists and to
      encourage businesses to develop beneficial partnerships.

7.5   Contribution to NRRT

       Refer to Section 1.5

                                                                       Page No 89
 8.1          ACTION PROGRAMME

 Programme 1      Visitor Management and Services
                  How visitors get to and how they travel through the region is a key issue for visitor management. Significant improvement is needed to the
                  integrated signage of the destination with particular reference to the A1 and other arterial routes into the area. An objective must be to
                  disperse visitors more effectively through areas such as Slieve Croob and the Newry gateway. Visitor orientation facilities and services need to
                  be enhanced at key access points.

 Programme 2      Visitor Infrastructure
                  The objective is to set up systems which will ensure that growth in visitor numbers is managed in a way which is sustainable. This will include
                  as a key objective the promotion of sustainable transport. Funding will be directed to the development of non car-based options for the
                  Mournes including expansion of the bus Rambler Service, Park n Ride, cycle hire and day tour options. Better traffic management through
                  villages and a review/upgrading of visitor signing would be supported. Access route upgrading and provision of new access for countryside
                  recreation will be encouraged. With enhanced facilities the opportunities for outdoor activities, as identified in the Countryside Recreation
                  Strategy, could be expanded.

Programme           Targets            Indicative projects             Outputs                Programme   Delivery by      Assumed Sum from Sum from   Other   Priority
                                                                                                Cost                          %      1.2b     4.2b
1.1 Visitor         To increase the    Mourne Signage Strategy :       1 Strategy prepared,     £75K      Partnership/DR     100     £75K      -        -         2
    Management and annual number       development and                 100 new signs at key               D Roads
    Services        of visitors to key implementation                  locations                          Service/
                    indicator sites                                                                       Councils
                    and to extend    Development of gateway centres 3 located within            £90K      Partnership/       75       -       £90K     £30K       1
                    the geographical providing visitor orientation and existing TICs in                   Councils
                    spread of visits   information, including          Newcastle,
                                       accommodation booking           Warrenpoint and at
                                                                       Banbridge on A1

                                                                                                                                                            Page No 90
1.2 Visitor          To increase           Visitor Interpretation boards and 40 new interpretative      £75K     Partnership/   100    £75K      -      -        2
    Infrastructure   visitor               leaflets                         boards and 3 new                     others
                     satisfaction levels                                    leaflets
                     and dwell time        Visitor amenity sites such as    6 sites created or         £300K     Councils/      100   £300K      -      -        2
                                           picnic areas : new and           improved                             others
                                           enhancement of existing
                                           New and enhanced off-road        Routes totaling 40km       £400K     Partnership/   100   £400K      -      -        1
                                           walking, cycling and horse                                            Councils/
                                           riding routes                                                         others
                                           Activity based infrastructure    4 key sites created or     £600K     Partnership/   100   £600K      -      -        1
                     To implement          development                      improved                             Councils/
                     visitor                                                                                     others
                     management            Sustainable Transport Initiatives 2 new transport           £100K     Partnership/   75    £100K      -     £33K      1
                     initiatives                                            initiatives                          Translink/
                                                                            implemented                          others
                                           Countryside Officer              1 full timeofficer for 3    £75K     Partnership/   100    £75K      -      -        1
                                                                            years                                Councils
                                                                                       TOTAL           £1,715K                        £1,625K   £90K   £63K

                                                                                                                                                            Page No 91

 Programme1     Accommodation
                The emphasis should be on supporting enterprises which are committed to tourism (as opposed to local or business use).               There is an
                opportunity to build on the existing provision by, for example, relating accommodation to outdoor activities and by providing a complete
                visitor experience that relates to the natural resource of the area. Quality standards of facility and service are essential.

 Programme 2    Activity Providers
                Sustainable activity tourism, delivered to the highest standard, is central to the vision for the future of tourism development in the Mournes.
                Support would be given to accredited activity operators for development, provided they offer a fully packaged product to the tourism
                marketplace. Water-based tourism (coastal and inland) would receive support as it is at present underdeveloped.

 Programme 3    Farm Based Tourism and the Rural Economy
                Encouraging greater economic contribution from tourism will involve re-orientating existing businesses in the Mournes to visitor needs and
                creating some new ones. This programme should support the enhancement of farm based products, craft, quality retail and quality catering in
                key gateway destinations. On farm accommodation such as bunk barns and camp sites, and services such as car parks and toilets could be
                provided to facilitate the activity tourist.

Programme           Targets          Indicative projects                       Outputs         Cost    Delivery by   Assumed   Sum from Sum from   Other   Priority
                                                                                                                        %        1.2b       4.2b
2.1 Accommodation   To increase      Development of a Mourne Inns Initiative   Funding of 6   £300K    Private          50         -       £300K   £300k      1
                    visitor spend and to encourage pubs to provide a higher    businesses              Sector
                    maximize the     quality of visitor service
                    impact of

                                                                                                                                                      Page No 92
                      previous            Mourne Nature Cottages - Enhanced            Funding of up       £50K    Private   50    -     £50K    £50K     1
                      expenditure         visitor services at existing self catering   to 50 units to              Sector
                                          accommodation relating to the natural        meet WWF
                                          resource such as information on the local criteria
                                          area, access to guides, provision of
                                          outdoor equipment.

                                          Mourne Nature Cottages – refurbishing        Development of      £250K   Private   50    -     £250K   £250K    2
                                          derelict traditional dwelling to provide as 5 new self                   Sector
                                          above                                        catering units to
                                                                                       meet WWF
                                          The provision of new accommodation or        Funding of 6        £60K    Private   50    -     £60K    £60K     1
                                          upgrading of existing to provide specific    businesses                  Sector
                                          activity related facilities eg tack
                                          rooms/drying rooms.

2.2 Activity Providers To secure jobs     Upgrading of existing tourism orientated Funding of 3            £60K    Private   50   £60K     -     £60K     1
                      and to extend       activity businesses                          businesses                  Sector
                      visitor stays       Support for new tourism related activity     Funding of 3        £60K    Private   50   £60K     -     £60K     1
                                          businesses                                   businesses                  Sector

2.3 Farm Based        To help             Support for farm based bunk barn             Funding of up       £100K   Private   50   100      -     £100K    1
    Tourism and the   agriculture         accommodation and small scale camp           to 3 farm                   Sector
    Rural Economy     sustainability by   sites                                        enterprises
                      increasing          Support for farm based visitor services      Funding of 3        £50K    Private   50   £50K     -     £50K     1
                      tourism             such as car parks and toilets                farm enterprises            Sector
                      supported farm

                                                                                                                                                    Page No 93
                enterprises        Development of branded rural crafts,   Funding up to 5   £50K     Partnership/   50-75   £50K      -       £25K       2
                                   products and marketing support         new initiatives            Community
                                                                          TOTAL             £980K                           £320K   £660K    £955K


Programme1    Events
              Events which are linked to the natural and cultural resources of the area and the key themes of this strategy would be supported. Examples
              include activity based events, maritime events, music and folklore, agriculture and craft. As well as a programme of frequent activities, the
              area needs more flagship events to attract both national and international visitors.

Programme 2   Community Tourism
              The training and support of tourism orientated community networks would be encouraged as a central core of the special sense of place in the
              Mournes. Particular emphasis would be placed on encouraging education as to visitor reactions to slogans and environmental eyesores in local
              areas and education as to the merits of vernacular architectural features and appropriate rural landscape. The communities have an important
              role to play in auditing their local area in terms of its natural, built and cultural resource, in ensuring its preservation and through this
              interacting with the visitor.

Programme 3   Visitor Monitoring
              The monitoring of visitor use of the natural resource in terms of numbers and impact on the environment will be carried out and the results fed
              back into management initiatives and education of both visitors and tourism product providers.

                                                                                                                                                 Page No 94
Programme             Targets           Indicative projects                Outputs                 Cost    Delivery by      Assumed %   Sum from Sum from   Other     Priority
                                                                                                                                          1.2b     4.2b
3.1 Events            To increase       Support funding for community Up to 5 events funded       £260K    Partnership/        75        £260K      -       £85K         1
                      visitor numbers   & activity festivals including co- for 3 years                     community/
                                        ordination and promotion                                           Councils
                                        Village enhancement schemes        Up to 10 settlements   £500K    P'Ship/Council      75        £500K      -       £165K        2
                                                                           improved                        s Community
3.2 Community         To increase       Rural heritage audits and          10 areas               £100K    Community           75        £100K      -       £35K         2
    Tourism           tourism           interpretation
                      appreciation of   Protection and enhancement of      10 projects            £200K    Partnership/       100        £200K      -         -          1
                      the area          key natural and built heritage                                     Councils/
                                        features & their presentation to                                   Community/
                                        visitors                                                           owners
                                        Manage and monitor sites with      Monitoring             £100K    Partnership/       100        £100K      -         -          1
                                        visitor pressure                   programme over 4                Councils
3.3 Visitor Monitoring To reduce        Manage and monitor sites with      Monitoring             £1160K                     £585K
                      impacts arising   visitor pressure                   programme
                      from tourism


 Prorgamme1        Training
                   Training is required, not only to enhance the quality of visitor facilities and services, but also to provide opportunities for more people to
                   become involved in the tourism industry. Raising awareness of the potential impacts of tourism on the natural resource is also important.

                                                                                                                                                                  Page No 95
 Programme 2      Product Development and Integration
                  Tourist businesses need to develop the right product for the market and should be encouraged to co-operate for mutual benefit through
                  product integration and product connections.

 Programme 3      Marketing
                  Subject to the results of the current regional tourism review, provision would be made for the future marketing of Mourne based on a product
                  rather than destination marketing approach. The main tourism products that will be marketed relate to cultural, rural and activity tourism.
                  Marketing and visitor servicing, print pieces and internet sites would have a Mourne branding and would be of the standard of a National Park.
                  The roll out of environmental quality marks would also be assisted (eg Green Globe accreditation). Particular emphasis needs to be placed on
                  targeting visitors entering Northern Ireland via the Republic of Ireland.

Programme            Targets           Indicative projects                 Outputs                Cost   Delivery by         Assumed   Sum from Sum from   Other   Priority
                                                                                                                               %         1.2b     4.2b
4.1 Training         To secure and     Training of local people to act     Minimum 50 people      £50K   Partnership/          75       £50K       -       £17K       2
                     increase tourism as guides and in hospitality         trained                       Councils/
                     related jobs      awareness                                                         Community

                                       Training of tourism businesses      30 local businesses    £50K   Partnership/Counc     50       £50K       -       £50K       1
                                       in business start up and            trained                       ils/
                                       development and to understand                                     FEC‟s/ NITB
                                       the needs of tourists,
                                       particularly in the activity
                                       market, and to appreciate
                                       sustainability issues

                                       Development of heritage skills      50 people trained      £50K   Partnership/Counc     75       £50K       -       £17K       2
                                       and opportunities for the visitor                                 ils/
                                       to experience Mourne life                                         Community
                                       through participation
4.2 Product          To increase       Product Development Co-             One part time post     £60K   NITB/ Local           75       £60K       -       £20K       1
    Development and visitor spend      ordinator                           created over 3 years          Delivery

                                                                                                                                                              Page No 96
    Integration                                                                                           Mechanism

4.3 Marketing     To increase         Development of a Mourne Web        Construction and        £25K     Partnership         75       £25K    -   £9K      1
                  visitor numbers     Site to market the natural         maintenance over 3
                                      resource and sustainable           years
                                      tourism opportunities of the

4.3 Marketing     To increase         Local branding and packaging of Over 3 years               £30K     Partnership/        75       £30K    -   £10K     1
(continued)       visitor numbers     activities to market distinctive                                    Kingdom of
                  (continued)         rural activity based holiday                                        Down/ Mourne
                                      opportunities                                                       Activity Breaks
                                      Green Charter Development and                              £20K     Partnership         75       £20K    -   £7K      2
                                                                         TOTAL                   £285K                                 £285K       £130K

                                             SUMMARY OF PROGRAMMES AND PROPOSED EXPENDITURE
                                      Theme                   Funding      Funding          Total NRRTI       Matching         Total
                                                                1.2b         4.2b                             Funding       Expenditure

                           Public Infrastructure             £1,625K         £90K            £1,715K            £63K         £1,778K
                                    and Visitor
                           Tourism Enterprises in              £320K        £660K             £980K            £955K         £1,935K
                                    the Mournes
                                Mourne – Living               £1160K             -            £1160K           £285K         £1445K

                                                                                                                                                      Page No 97
                      Product Development    £285K       -         £285K        £130K        £415K
                         and Marketing
                       Technical Support/    £100K       -         £100K          -          £100K
                       Economic Appraisal
                     Regional Co-operation   £100K       -         £100K          -          £100K

                            Totals           £3590K   £750K       £4340K       £1433K       £5773K
                     Administration (10%)                        £477.9K
                            Totals                               £4817.9K

In addition to the themes and programmes, the following amounts have been included:
- Technical Support/ Economic Appraisal – this amount has been included to cover the cost of appraising submitted projects,
    including economic appraisals by external consultants;
- Regional Co-operation – a central pool of resources that all 5 NRRT areas can draw on to carry out for example rural branding
    or Green Charter Guide.
- Administration – this equates to 10% of the total NRRTI funding. Administration costs are set out under paragraph 2.6 in
    Section 2 above

                                                                                                                       Page No 98
8.2      Impacts and Sustainability
Programme                    Targets                      Impacts Including Potential Environmental Impacts              Economic, Social And Environmental Sustainability
1.1 Visitor Management       To increase the annual       Increased visitor spend and greater tourism contribution to
    and Services             number of visitors to key    local economy
                             indicator sites and to       Increased road traffic                                         Provide public transport alternatives/safe off-
                             extend the geographical                                                                     road parking
                             spread of visits             Additional visitor pressure at key sites leading to a lesser   Encourage visits to less popular sites/areas
                                                          quality of visitor experience
                                                          Environmental impacts eg litter, trampling                     Visitor monitoring and management
                                                                                                                         measures/visitor education
                                                          Visual impact of increased signage                             Sensitively designed and located signage

1.2 Visitor Infrastructure   To increase visitor          Increased visitor spend and greater tourism contribution to
                             satisfaction levels          local economy
                             and dwell time               Visual and landscape impacts of physical developments          Sensitively designed and located developments of
                                                                                                                         a scale appropriate to location

                                                          Other environmental impacts arising from infrastructure        Consider at planning stage/consult with
                                                          development and use of sites                                   appropriate bodies/apply best practice in design
                                                                                                                         and construction/ good user management of sites
                                                                                                                         eg code of conduct, zoning
                                                          Impact on landowners and their enterprises                     Access by agreement/visitor monitoring and
                             To implement visitor
                                                                                                                         management/good lines of communication
                             management initiatives
2.1 Accommodation            To increase visitor spend    Greater demand on services and infrastructure                  Apply environmental best practice to waste
                             and maximize the impact of                                                                  management/consider alternative energy sources
                             previous expenditure                                                                        eg wind

                                                          Demand on non renewable resources                              Green audit of materials/utilise local building

                                                                                                                                                                             Page No 99
2.2 Activity Providers   To secure jobs and to          Environmental impacts eg trampling, disturbance of       Site management/education of users/training of
                         extend visitor stays           wildlife, erosion                                        guides and instructors in sustainability issues

                                                        Conflict with other site users                           Codes of conduct

Programme                Targets                        Impacts Including Potential Environmental Impacts        Economic, Social And Environmental Sustainability
2.3 Farm Based Tourism   To help agriculture            Higher on-farm generated incomes
    and the Rural        sustainability by increasing
    Economy              tourism supported farm
                                                        Landscape and visual impact of infrastructure development Integrate developments into landscape
                                                                                                                 setting/use local materials and traditional style of
                                                                                                                 detail and design
                                                        Loss of built heritage and/or character of farmsteads    Retain traditional farm buildings/use vernacular
                                                                                                                 architectural details and materials/scale of
                                                                                                                 development consistent with existing farm
                                                                                                                 building cluster
3.1 Events               To increase visitor numbers Community cohesion

                                                        Preservation of local traditions

3.2 Community Tourism    To increase tourism            Community cohesion/pride
                         appreciation of the area
                                                        Retention of local knowledge/history

                                                        Loss of local village identities                         Avoid imposition of imported materials and

                                                                                                                                                                    Page No 100
3.3 Visitor Monitoring   To reduce impacts arising   Less damage to popular sites/areas
                         from tourism
                                                     A better visitor experience

4.1 Training             To secure and increase      More sustainable tourism businesses
                         tourism related jobs
                                                     More interaction between visitors and local people

                                                     Better visitor experience

4.2 Product Development To increase visitor spend    Lessons learnt from good practice elsewhere
    and Integration
                                                     More and better tourism products available

4.3 Marketing            To increase visitor numbers Mourne reaches wider tourism market

                                                     Mourne product clearly presented and easily accessible

                                                                                                              Page No 101

9.1   Selection Criteria For Projects And Programmes

      The following selection criteria will apply to all applications:
      1)     The project must be located within one of the five designated target
             areas.   In exceptional cases, projects may be located outside the
             target areas where they will benefit rural areas and it makes sense
             that they should be located outside the target areas (for example,
             where a training course is run in the District town).
      2)     All projects must have clearly defined objectives which reflect the
             aims and objectives of the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Measure;
      3)     All projects must be compatible with the aims and objectives of the
             Natural Resource Rural Tourism strategy established for the target
             area in which they are located. All projects and programmes must
             be economically sustainable or address a specific requirement or, in
             the case of training and marketing and promotion projects, clearly
             time bound.
      4)     Projects must demonstrate that they require the funding to proceed
      5)     Projects must bring additional benefits to the target areas;
      6)     Priority will be given to projects and programmes that demonstrate
             the greatest potential to develop the tourism industry in the target
             areas.    In particular, priority will be given to projects and
             programmes, which have the potential to create new jobs or
             generate new economic activity.

                                                                         Page No 102
The Mourne Trust will apply the following additional selection criteria to
tourism projects, activities and events in order to ensure sustainability of
the programme.
1)      The proposed project should demonstrate a positive and sustainable
        contribution to the natural or cultural resources of the area and the
        visitor experience of them.
2)      In the case of new accommodation or attractions, proposals will only
        be considered if they clearly address a shortfall in the area and do
        not appear likely to displace visitors from comparable attractions or
3)      All   other    aspects   being   equal,     projects   that   arise   from
        complementary interests working together to provide added value to
        the visitor will be prioritised – e.g. accommodation linked with
        activities; linked attractions and events
4)      In the case of marketing, project applications will not be accepted
        from individual businesses.
5)      Marketing proposals should take account of the priorities and
        targets of the regional tourism organisation, of NITB and of Tourism
        Ireland Ltd. And should not duplicate or run counter to their efforts.
6)      In the case of applications relating to or adjacent to sites designated
        as National Nature Reserves, Areas of Special Scientific Interest,
        Special Areas of Conservation, and Special Protection Areas, written
        approval must be sought from Environment and Heritage prior to

The Trust will apply the following selection criteria to visitor and
environmental management projects
1) The proposers should be aware of current management arrangements
     in the area and the proposed activity should demonstrably improve the
     current situation.

                                                                       Page No 103
2) The project should be additional to the effort currently applied at the
   site and should not replace any statutory duty of care.
3) The proposers should have appraised themselves of best practice in
   visitor and environmental management and should have applied these
   in the proposal.
4) Environmental management projects must bear a relationship to visited
   sites or to elements of the landscape enjoyed by visitors

In all cases, and where appropriate, all other criteria having been met,
projects which benefit the following Peace II target groups will be

Farm families
People who are unemployed
Victims of the troubles
Ex prisoners

All applications from communities, partnerships and network groups
should demonstrate involvement, at a decision making level of an
appropriate balance of gender, physical ability, cultural background and
where appropriate, racial background.

                                                               Page No 104
Flow chart to illustrate the selection procedure involved

Applicants will fill in part A applications through normal procedures and receive support in terms
of the environmental questions in Part B from the environmental officer in the partnership.

 Full information on the programme        Peace II target groups informed directly about the
 provided locally                         programme via their network groups

 Applicant fills in parts A and B
                                            Applicant amends
 with support where necessary
                                            application with support
 MHT receives application
                                               Could meet
 Programme manager assesses against
 criteria                                      Does not                  Rejection
                                               meet criteria             Referral to other funders

 Meets criteria

 Staff site visit - verification

                                                  Could meet criteria
 In house or commissioned technical
 assessments                                      with advice or mitigation

  –economic appraisal                             Does not meet
 - environmental appraisal                        criteria                 Rejection

 Meets criteria                                             Applicant notified of
                                                            required changes
                                                            Support provided
 Project summary and recommendation prepared by
 staff (standard format)

 Present to Selection sub committee for
 consideration and recommendation

 Present sub committee recommendation to MHT                                        Report on reasons to
 Board                                                                              applicant.
                                                            Reject                  Notification of MHT
 Approve                                                                            appeals procedure

 Inform DARD of decisions and refer for
 programme approval                                                                       Page No 105
 DARD decision communicated to MHT and applicant
9.2   Communications and Publicity
      From the outset and throughout the implementation of NRRTI, there will be
      an emphasis on marketing the opportunities of the programme to potential
      beneficiaries and highlighting the achievements of the programme.

      Responsibility   for   communications    and   publicity   will   be   with   the
      Administrative Officer working under the direction of the Programme

9.3   Monitoring and Evaluation

      It is the responsibility of Mourne Heritage Trust to monitor and manage the
      implementation and the financial arrangements for the delivery of the
      programmes. The Trust is committed to the following:

      -   Monitoring the delivery of grants in relation to the overall budget;
      -   Monitoring the spending of grant money by the applicant to ensure it is
          used in the allotted time;
      -   Monitoring the projects to ensure they are implemented on time, to the
          budget and as per the specification of the application;
      -   Post project monitoring to ensure that the outputs in the Strategy are
          being delivered;

                                                                             Page No 106
      -   Post project evaluation, which will be an internal evaluation to be
          carried out by Mourne Heritage Trust to appraise projects, the money
          spent and the value for money of the implemented project.

9.4   Transparency, Financial Accountability and Audit Trails

      The Mourne Heritage Trust operates clear decision-making structures with
      all decisions, except routine matters being taken by the Board of Trustees.
      The Trust operates a number of sub-groups to advise specific matters on
      recreation, built heritage. All decisions made by the Executive Committee
      or sub-committees are subject to ratification by the Board of Trustees and
      are reflected in the official minutes of the Board. Formal minutes are kept
      of all sub-group meetings. Each of the Trust‟s core funders have observer
      status on the Board of Trustees and all are copied relevant reports and
      minutes of all Board meetings.

      Operational & Decision Making Arrangements
      The Trust has in place adequate operational and decision making
      arrangements to deliver NRRTI. Similar structures served successfully for
      the delivery of the Mourne Area Based Strategy. Proposed structures for
      delivery of NRRTI are set out in Section 4.

      Financial Accountability
      The Mourne Heritage Trust has in place all necessary arrangements to
      provide adequate financial accountability. On its establishment the Trust
      adopted a set of financial rules and procedures based on those operated
      by District Councils, These rules were appraised by DARD prior to the
      delivery of the Mourne Area Based Strategy and minor amendments
      incorporated accordingly. (Annex 4)

                                                                      Page No 107
        The Trust has been regularly audited by DARD during the delivery of the
        Mourne ABS and have from time to time introduced minor adjustments to
        its financial systems to meet the requirements of Government and
        European auditors. All (non- salary) payments issued by the Trust are in
        the form of cheques drawn on the Trusts current account against formal
        invoices.   Invoices are circulated at and approved by formal resolution
        either at the Board of Trustees or Executive Committee on a monthly basis.
        The Trust operates the Bank of Ireland Business Pay transfer system for the
        payment of staff salaries. The Trust keeps computer based financial and
        payroll records and produces Annual audited accounts each year at year
        ended 31 March. The Trusts auditors are M B McGrady & Co, Downpatrick.

9.5     Financial Plan

Measure 1.2(b) Sustainable Tourism Development based on shared Natural and Cultural

Proposed Commitments
Year          Proposed      NRRT        Other Public Private MatchTotal
              Activities    Funding     Funding       Funding
2001          All           200k               -             -     200k
2002          All           1500k       250k          200k         1950k
2003          All           2000k       250k          300k         2550k
2004          All           286.7k      100k          200k         586.7k
Total                       3986.7k     600k          700k         5286.7k

Proposed Spend
Year          Proposed      NRRT        Other Public Private MatchTotal
              Activities    Funding     Funding       Funding
2001          All           20k                -             -     20k
2002          All           200k        50k           50k          300k
2003          All           1000k       150k          200k         1350k
2004          All           1000k       150k          200k         1350k
2005          All           1000k       200k          200k         1400k

                                                                          Page No 108
2006        All          766.7k     50k          50k          866.7k
Total                    3986.7k    600k         700k         5286.7k

Measure 4.2(b) Outward and Forward Looking Tourism-Enhancing the Region as a
Tourism Destination

Proposed Commitments
Year        Proposed     NRRT       Other Public Private MatchTotal
            Activities   Funding    Funding      Funding
2001        All          30k               -            -     30k
2002        All          350k       15k          35k          400k
2003        All          400k       25k          45k          470k
2004        All          51.2k      4k           9k           64.2k
Total                    831.2k     44k          89k          964.2k

Proposed Spend

Year        Proposed     NRRT       Other Public Private MatchTotal
            Activities   Funding    Funding      Funding
2001        All          3k                -            -     3k
2002        All          50k        5k           5k           60k
2003        All          200k       7k           20k          227k
2004        All          250k       15k          30k          295k
2005        All          250k       15k          30k          295k
2006        All          78.2k      2k           4k           84.2k
Total                    831.2k     44k          89k          964.2k

                                                                      Page No 109
9.6   Declaration

      I declare that, to the best of my knowledge, the information contained in
      this application is accurate and that the proposals outlined in the
      Development Strategy are consistent and representative of the target area.

      Signed on behalf of MOURNE HERITAGE TRUST




                                                                      Page No 110


       Out-of-state tourist trips to Northern Ireland grew by a marginal 1%
       between 1999 and 2000 to 1.672 million.                       Charts 1, 2 and 3 below
       illustrate the growth in out-of-state tourists in terms of trips, bednights
       and revenue generated.

         1800                                                       1672
         1600                  1557
                                      1436   1415
         1400    1262   1294
                 1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998    1999    2000

        Chart 1 – Out-of-State Trips (000‟s)
        Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

       Between 1993 and 2000, the total number of out-of-state tourists visiting
       Northern Ireland rose by 32% to 1.672 million.

        Chart 2 – Out-of-State Nights (000's)
          8000          7804                        7835
                 7794                 7700
          7600                               7500

                 1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999    2000

        Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

                                                                                   Page No 111
      In the eight year period from 1993 to 2000, the number of bednights
      increased by 0.9 million, representing a growth rate of 12% over this
      period. However, between 1999 and 2000, there was a decrease of 70,000

                                                       £265   £265

                           £214                 £217
                                  £206   £208

             1993   1994   1995   1996   1997   1998   1999   2000

          Chart 3 – Revenue (£ million)
          Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

      In the 1993 to 2000 period, revenue generated by out-of-state visitors
      grew by 53% to £265 million.


           In 2000, there was an increase over 1999 in the volume of home
            holidays taken, up 78,000 trips to 588,000.

           Similarly, the value of these home holidays increased between 1999 and
            2000, up £7 million to £64 million.

           Over two-thirds of all home holidays are short breaks which in turn
            account for 38% of home holiday revenue.                 Those on long holidays
            contributed £40 million to the Northern Ireland economy in 2000.

                                                                                 Page No 112

      Chart 4 – Market Profile 2000 (Volume of Trips)

           Domestic                                            510

                  GB                                                                   950

                 RO I                              380

             Europe                   126

       N America                      148

             Aus/NZ            42

                O ther        25

                         0                200     400           600            800     1000

          Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

            Ranked in terms of volume of trips, the Great Britain market is most
             important to Northern Ireland, followed by the domestic market and the
             Republic of Ireland market.

      Chart 5 – Out-of-State Market Profile (Trips %) Rate of Change                           1995-

                                     GB                  ROI    EUROPE AMERICA

      2000                         57%                   23%          8%     9% 1%

      1999                          61%                    23%             6% 7% 1%

      1998                          57%                   24%          7% 8% 1%

      1997                          57%                  24%           7% 8% 1%

      1996                          57%                   26%              7% 7% 1%

      1995                     52%                       30%           7% 8% 1%

           0%                20%            40%    60%               80%        100%

                                                                                              Page No 113
    Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

     In terms of relative market share (trips), the Great Britain market is the
      most important out-of-state market accounting for 57% of all out-of-
      state trips to Northern Ireland in 2000. Great Britain's relative market
      share of out-of-state trips to Northern Ireland increased from 52% in
      1995 to 57% in 2000.
     In contrast, the Republic of Ireland's market share has declined over the
      same period from a 30% share in 1995 to 23% in 2000.

Chart 6 – Rate of Change - Trips/Nights/Spend - 1993-2000


             36%                                   33%
       17%                        16%


                      -2 0 %      -7 %-9 %
                                                                     -1 0 %
                   -1 9 %
                         -2 3 %
         GB           R OI        E uro pe       N A me rica    A us /N Z      O the r

                                         Trips      Nights     Spend

    Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

     In real terms, growth in trips and expenditure between 1993 and 2000
      is most marked amongst the long-haul markets. The North American
      market in particular has shown a 73% growth in revenue over this
      period, to £45 million in 2000.

     Although the volume of European trips has increased by 16% to
      126,000 trips, there has been a corresponding fall in nights and
      expenditure (£21 million in 2000).

                                                                                          Page No 114
   The decline in the Republic of Ireland market equates to a loss of
    revenue to Northern Ireland of £9 million.

   Meanwhile the increase in trips and nights from the Great Britain
    market has resulted in a 36% increase in expenditure - an increase of
    £39 million in real terms.

                                                              Page No 115

           In terms of market segments, the Visits to Friends and Relatives
            segment accounts for 44% of all out-of-state trips in 2000.

           The Business segment market share has increased by a marginal 2% to

      Chart 7 – Market Segments (Trips) - 1995-2000

                                 VFR         HOLIDAY      BUSINESS    OTHER

          2000             44%                18%         28%        10%

          1999             41%               18%          30%        10%

          1998             42%               19%          29%        10%

          1997             41%               19%          29%        11%

          1996             41%               21%          28%        10%

          1995         36%                   30%            26%       8%

             0%            20%         40%          60%     80%        100%

          Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

           Perhaps of most significance is the decline in the market share of the
            holiday segment from 30% in 1995 (461,000 trips) to 18% in 2000
            (306,000 trips).     The impact of the ceasefire in 1995 on the holiday
            segment is well documented and despite the decline highlighted above,
            provides an indication of Northern Ireland's potential as a holiday

           Analysis of the main purpose of visit by out-of-state markets illustrates
            a high holiday content amongst the long-haul, European and Republic
            of Ireland markets.

                                                                           Page No 116

         There are indications of a recovery in tourism in 1999 and 2000
          (figures refer to out-of-state and domestic visitors) from the decline
          experienced by Down, Newry & Mourne and Banbridge council areas
          between 1995 and 1998.

                                                                     Page No 117
Chart 8 – Volume of Tourist Trips - 1995-2000





                                                                   15.1       22.3

         Down                        N e w ry &                     B a nbridg e
                                     M o urne

                    1995    1996   1997     1998     1999   2000

Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

   Latest figures illustrate that Down accounts for 7%, Newry & Mourne for
    3% and Banbridge for 1% of all tourist trips in Northern Ireland. This
    represents a decline in market share of 0.9% and 1.7% for Down and
    Newry and Mourne, with a marginal increase of 0.3% in market share for



                                                                   £1.9        £2.5

             Down                     N e w ry &                    B a nbridg e
                                      M o urne

                     1995   1996   1997     1998     1999   2000

Chart 9– Total Revenue Generated - 1995-2000

Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board
   Likewise, the share of Northern Ireland's visitor expenditure accruing to
    Down and Newry & Mourne has declined from 7% to 6% and 3.7% to 3%,

                                                                                      Page No 118
            respectively. Meanwhile, there was a marginal 0.3% increase in market
            share for Banbridge.



       Chart 10 - Out-of State Visitors Activity Participation (1995-2000)







                    1995            1996           1997               1998          1999          2000

            W a lk ing     G a m e F is hing   C o a rs e F is hing    G o lf   C yc ling   E que s tria n

        Source: Northern Ireland Tourist Board

        The above figures are derived from survey estimates and extreme caution
        should be exercised in drawing conclusions, particularly where the
        smaller special interest and activity products are concerned.

               Participation is highest in walking and golf activities with the number
                of out-of-state visitor participating in walking reaching a high of
                56,600 in 2000.

               Levels of participation in 2000, in fishing (7,200), cycling (7,400) and
                equestrian (4,600) activities are similar. Participation levels in these
                activities has remained relatively constant over the 1995 to 2000

                                                                                                         Page No 119

     Chart 11 - Overseas Visitor Activity Participation (1996-2000)







                1996            1997            1998         1999          2000

                       W a lk ing   F is hing     G o lf   C yc ling   E que s tria n

      Source: Bord Fáilte

         Overall, activity participation levels amongst visitors to the Republic of
          Ireland (780,000) are significantly higher than in Northern Ireland

         As is the case in Northern Ireland, walking and golf are the two most
          popular activities for overseas visitors to the Republic of Ireland.
          However, there are over four times and six times more participants in
          walking and golf, respectively in the Republic of Ireland than in
          Northern Ireland.

         Of particular note, is the decline in angling participation in the
          Republic of Ireland.

                                                                                        Page No 120

      As reported by Northern Ireland Tourist Board, figures for the first nine
      months of 2001 indicate that visitor tourism to Northern Ireland will show
      an estimated decrease of 2% compared to 2000, with holiday visits falling
      by around 10%. Revenue is also expected to show a decline of 3% in real
      terms to some £263m.

      Whilst overall visits have shown a decline, it is anticipated that visitor
      numbers from Great Britain will show an increase of 7%. This is partly due
      to the positive impact of the new low cost air routes.

      The outbreak of Foot and Mouth in spring, at a time when people were
      planning holidays, coupled with the strength of sterling, contributed to a
      7% fall in visitors from the Republic of Ireland, and a decline of 15% and 24
      % respectively from mainland Europe and North America.

      Northern Ireland Tourist Board further report that whilst an increase over
      2001 figures is anticipated for 2002, this will be dependent on a number of
      factors including air access and exchange rates.


      This review provides an illustration of how the Northern Ireland tourism
      industry has performed over recent years. In particular, it outlines relative
      performance by market and market segment and also takes into account
      data related to activity tourism.

      The recommendations outlined in this Strategy take cognisance of the
      trends identified in this section and are central to ensuring that a market-
      led approach to all new proposals is adopted.

      The key tourism performance trends are summarised as follows:

         Out-of-state tourism to Northern Ireland (trips/nights/spend) has
          shown a marked growth (1993-2000). However, the growth in tourism
          to the Republic of Ireland has been much more significant.       This, in
          large part demonstrates the potential benefits of political stability and

                                                                        Page No 121
    provides a strong indication of Northern Ireland's potential as a tourism

   The growth in out-of-state tourism to Northern Ireland is not mirrored
    in the performance of the home holiday market (the downward trend
    was however reversed, between 1999 and 2000). Despite this trend,
    the home holiday market remains an important market for all
    destinations in Northern Ireland.

   A summary of the relative performance of all markets in 2000, is
    outlined below.

            Market                             Spend
                 Great Britain                 147
                 Domestic Holiday               64
                 North America                  45
                 Republic of Ireland            30
                 Europe                         21
                 Aus/N Zealand                   9
                 Other Overseas                 13

   In relation to the above, it is worth highlighting the following:

    -   With the continuance of low cost access, the Great Britain market
        has shown continuous growth (up 36% in spend) between 1993 and

    -   The Republic of Ireland market has registered a 23% decline in
        spend between 1993 and 2000. The strength of the pound against
        he Punt is likely to have been the key factor in the decline of this

    -   Whilst the volume of European trips increased (up 16%) over the
        same period, spend has declined by 9% to £21mn in 2000.

    -   There has been a marked growth in trips, nights and spend from the
        long haul markets.        The North American market registered a 73%

                                                                        Page No 122
        increase in second between 1993 and 2000 to £45mn, ranking it
        second    to   Great    Britain   in    terms     of   out-of-state    market

    -   The holiday market has declined significantly in share, between
        1995 and 2000 from a 30% to a 18% share. The 30% share obtained
        in 1995 correlates to the 1995 cease-fire and provides an indication
        of Northern Ireland's potential as a holiday destination.

    -   Although Great Britain is the most significant market for Northern
        Ireland, the other out-of-state markets contain a comparatively
        higher holiday content.

   Participation in activities amongst holidaymakers is seven times greater,
    on average, in the Republic of Ireland than in Northern Ireland. Walking
    and golf are the two most popular activities.

    As more specialist activities, participation levels in fishing, cycling and
    equestrian is much lower than for walking.                  Nonetheless, given
    appropriate    investment     in   the     product,    coupled   with     targeted
    marketing, participation levels could increase significantly.

   The findings illustrate that both Down, Newry & Mourne and Banbridge
    attracted a combined total of £32.7mn in 2000, equating to 10% of
    total tourism spend in 2000. Within the three council areas, Down's
    tourism industry is most buoyant; visitor spent £20.8mn in 2000.
    Given political stability and appropriate investment in the tourism
    product and marketing combined, these areas have potential to attract
    an even greater level of visitor expenditure.

   The above review does not take into account tourism performance in
    Northern Ireland in 2001. Forecasts indicate that the holiday market
    will have declined by 10% between 2000 and 2001.                   It is further
    expected that in 2002, Northern Ireland will recover to at least the 2000
    position. Given the events of 2001, the 2000 tourism figures are felt to
    be a better baseline measurement than 2001 figures.

                                                                            Page No 123

Three public consultations were held within the study area in Warrenpoint,
Newcastle and Rathfriland on the 14th, 15th and 16th of May 2002.          These
workshops were attended by over 90 individuals, representing key interests in the
Mourne area. The agenda for the consultations involved a presentation of the
Draft Vision by the consultants; the attendees then formed groups, discussed the
content of the Draft Vision and completed a questionnaire. Through compilation
of the completed questionnaires, the consultants could therefore identify
recurrent themes.

The following 5 themes and indicative programmes were presented at the

1.1 Into the Mournes Visitor Management & Visitor Services
1.2 Visitor Infrastructure
1.3 Marketing

2.1 Accommodation
2.2 Activity Providers
2.3 Farm Based Tourism and the Rural Economy

3.1 Events
3.2 Community Tourism
3.3 Built and Natural Heritage Enhancement

4.1 Tourism Business Start Up/Sustainable development
4.2 Local guide/animators
4.3 Heritage skills
4.4 Activities

                                                                      Page No 124
5.1 Product integration and product connections – branding and packaging eg
   Mourne good food guide
5.2 Product Research and Appraisal
5.3 Visitor Monitoring – Use, Impact, Demand
5.4 Networking/Study Visits
5.5 Model Projects

                                                                     Page No 125

Comments Sheet
The attendees were asked to complete the following sheet after they viewed the


                         Discussion Group Feedback Sheets

 Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Themes

 Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Indicative Measures
 as Mentioned under the Themes

 Are there any additional Themes that you would add to the list ?

 Please Prioritise the Themes in terms of % Funding or Priority that
 you would afford to each

 T1 – Infrastructure & visitor management

 T2 – Tourism Enterprises

 T3 – Living Landscape

 T4 – Training                                                        Page No 126

 T5 – Product Development & Integration
1. Warrenpoint Town Hall – 14 May 2002
   Attendees Sheet
Name                              Organisation
Irene Adair                       Mourne Heritage Trust
R. Colgan                         Mourne Heritage trust
Jim Saunders                      Mourne Heritage Trust
Paul Mc Dowell-Veitch             Mourne Heritage Trust
Julie Ann Auley                   Individual
John Doyle                        Warrenpoint Community Partnership
Jim & Marie Gavaghan              An Tober Bed & Breakfast, Rostrevor
Michelle Boyle                    Newry and Mourne District Council
Mary Cassidy                      Rostrevor Community association
Charlie Houston                   Individual
R. Rooney                         Individual
Gerry Heatley                     Warrenpoint Community Association
Pamela Houston                    MAB
Veronica Mc Cann                  Wee Binnian Walkers
Eithne Carragher                  Newry and Mourne Tour Guiding
Dermot Jamison                    Individual
Charmaine Carr                    Warrenpoint Community Partnership
Helen Bell                        Individual
John Bell                         Individual
Tanya Mc aleenan                  Individual
Seamus O‟Kane                     Individual
Siobhan Boyle                     Warrenpoint Community Partnership
Jim Rooney                        Mayobridge
Hugh O‟Neill                      ROMAL
Gladys Milligan                   Individual
Bernadette Downey                 Individual
Gerald Downey                     Individual
Pat Hughes                        Newry & District Anglers
Thomas Mc Cann                    Warrenpoint Community Partnership
Michael Carr                      Newry and Mourne Councillor
D. Mc Kinney                      Individual
Martin Mc Kevitt                  Warrenpoint Community Partnership

                                                             Page No 127
Agnes Morris                              Jewelry Designer
Damian Morris                             O‟Lagan Architects

a.   Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Themes

     There was a general consensus that all themes were relevant and
     comprehensive. There was a strong view that local culture should be a cross
     cutting theme.

                                                                       Page No 128
b.   Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Indicative Measures as
     Mentioned under the Themes
     There is a definite lack of different types of accommodation in Warrenpoint,
     for example B&B‟s, hostels, caravan and camping sites. In addition there is
     no hotel from Newry to Kilkeel. Cultural heritage should be top priority –
     common thread linked to natural heritage.           Events should be held on
     average every 2 years. Development along the coast may be a threat to the
     Geopark status should be achieved for the Mournes to help protect the
     Coastal access for both boats and on-shore
     Need moorings / marina / jetties
     Hands-on activities
     Fishing museum
     Small wet weather attractions eg crafts
     Insurance – eg on farm activities (possible co-op)
     Provide sites for activities such as quads – zoning
     Farmers need training to help bring them on board
     Stone working
     Local Ales

c.   Are there any additional Themes that you would add to the list

     A taste of the Mournes – Local dishes

d.   Please Prioritise the Themes in terms of % Funding or priority that you would
     afford to each

                 THEMES            Response 1   Response 2    Response 3    Response 4
 T1 – Infrastructure & visitor          20%          2            3              3
 T2 – Tourism Enterprises               30%          2            2              2
 T3 – Living Landscape                  30%          1            1              1
 T4 – Training                          10%          3            4              4
 T5 – Product Development &             10%          4            5              5

                                                                           Page No 129
2. Newcastle Centre – 15 May 2002
   Attendees Sheet

                   Name                             Organisation
Sam Mc Carthy                       Mourne Heritage Trust
Dick O‟Loan                         Friend of Mourne Heritage Trust
Bernard Davey                       Mourne Heritage Trust, Newcastle
                                    Harbour Area association
Ronnie Mc Bride                     DARD
Catherine Mc Aleenan                Mourne Heritage Trust
Sharon Stockdale                    Mourne Heritage Trust
K. Mc Dowell                        Mourne Heritage Trust
Margaret Quinn                      Down District Council
Edna Howard                         Newcastle Glee Singers
Peter Law                           Newcastle Chamber of Commerce
Alan Willis                         Newcastle Chamber of Commerce
Jackie Trainer                      Dundrum
Anne Veaney                         Drundrum
Alice Hanna                         Newcastle Glee Singers
Joanne Orr                          Ballyward
Sandra Orr                          Ballyward
Kathryn Law                         Spelga House
Edward Hanna                        Spelga House
Ian Watts                           Shimna Angling Club
Brendan Magee                       Castlewellan
D. Patterson                        Bryansford
P.J. Mc Clean                       The Rock
Austin Alexander                    Self Catering
Nicholas Mc Crickard                East Down Rural Community Network
Mark Moher                          Kingdoms of Down
Kevin & Lorraine O‟Hagan            Castlewellan
Christy Devlin                      Individual
David Smith                         East Down Institute
Kenneth Ranken                      Individual
Margaret Cunningham                 Castlewellan Regeneration Ltd
Rosemarie Grant                     Rocklea Seaside Cottages self catering
Antoinette Milligan                 Individual

                                                                   Page No 130
Patrick Milligan                               Individual
Mike Mc Ardle                                  Seeconnell
Fintan Mc Mullan                               Seaconnell
K & P Mc Alerney                               Corner House, Leitrim
May Mc Mullan                                  Seeconnell

a.   Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Themes

     Very thorough coverage by themes
     Look at previous failed projects for ideas / information on how they went
     Themes interlinked – especially 1 and 2
     Some duplication of themes – although not entirely a bad thing

b. Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Indicative Measures as
     Mentioned under the Themes

     Local people involvement is very important
     Concerns about the mention of roads….what about trains and transport from
     Will the consultations make a difference?
     Infrastructure – B8 is a very bad road - Can‟t stop along any roads
     The „Product‟ – it is very important to have a „product‟ to begin with.
     Encouragement of traditional crafts – craft villages
     Marketing – Branding is very important
     Accommodation – lack of infrastructure at the moment – needs to be more
     B&B‟s – no B&B‟s from Newry to Castlewellan, single unit accommodation-
     farm diversification.
     Money to purchase equipment (tied to tourism but benefit out of season)
     Events eg drama, geneology & literature
     Village enhancement – very important
     Positive impact on vandalism
     Training is very important, especially in foreign and sign languages

                                                                            Page No 131
c. Are there any additional Themes that you would add to the list

   Disabilities not mentioned – could be better incorporated
   Information booklets & guides should be made available to hand out
   More co-operation between businesses
   Themed holidays
   Evaluation is critical to check on the progress of the strategy
   Angling & walking are the two „products‟ which the Mournes can offer – these
   should be exploited to a degree – angling needs to be better developed (you
   cannot fish in many lakes in the area as clubs have control of the areas. Also
   very hard to purchase fishing permits).

d. Please Prioritise the Themes in terms of % Funding or priority that you would
   afford to each

                 THEMES                 Response 1      Response 2    Response 3
 T1 – Infrastructure & visitor         15%             10%           30%
 T2 – Tourism Enterprises              25%             40%           30%
 T3 – Living Landscape                 25%             30%           20%
 T4 - Training                         10%             10%           5%
 T5 – Product Development &            25%             10%           15%

                                                                          Page No 132
3. Rathfriland Community Centre – 16 May 2002
  Attendees Sheet

                   Name                                       Organisation
Joan Steele                                   The Anglers Rest, Banbridge
Keith Faloon                                  Rostrevor
Martin Murray                                 Castlewellan
Patrick Mc Clean                              Kilcoo
Kay Mc Givern                                 Banbridge
John Ried                                     Castlewellan
Clare & Goretti Cunningham                    Hilltown
Joe Fegan                                     Mayobridge
John Shannon                                  Rathfriland & District Community
David Thompson                                Mourne Heritage Trust
Noel Killen                                   Ballydugan Mill
P.J. Bradley                                  Newry and Mourne District Council
Wilma Mitchell                                Friend of Mourne
Warren Mc Connell                             Individual
Rachel Mc Connell                             Individual
Seamus Lavery                                 Individual
Colin Finey                                   Granagh house

a. Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Themes

   Majority of issues are very relevant
   Theme 3 – Ownership by local people / pride in area – very important

b. Please Comment on the overall relevance of the Indicative Measures as
    Mentioned under the Themes

    Programme 1.3 Branding is very important
    Small scale unit accommodation is very important – definite lack in area
    Theme 3 - Not sure about big new event – golf / Kilbroney. What about an
    angling festival (especially for the European visitor?)
    Charter Mark in the future would be a benefit
    Make more use of vernacular buildings
    Secure car parking needed

                                                                             Page No 133
     Outlets – organic produce / farmers market
     Shutters on windows – negative effect (nb. London scheme)
     Develop existing walkways etc
     Accommodation – not enough beds in area – people stay outside the area,
     therefore help and training is needed to show locals the advantages of
     Theme 3 needs to be more imaginative.
     Community tourism is very important
     Knowledge of whats going on could be improved

c.   Are there any additional Themes that you would add to the list

     Add theme – cleaning up countryside
     Wet weather activities

d. Please Prioritise the Themes in terms of % Funding or priority that you would
     afford to each

                  THEMES                       Response 1             Response 2
 T1 – Infrastructure & visitor management           2                     1
 T2 – Tourism Enterprises                           1                     2
 T3 – Living Landscape                              4                     4
 T4 – Training                                      3                     3
 T5 – Product Development & Integration             5                     5

                                                                        Page No 134
Page No 135


     STRATEGIC                                         MOURNE HERITAGE TRUST
       POLICY                                                 BOARD
       GROUP                                               OF TRUSTEES

      Strategy Design
                                                             Accountable Body
    Strategic Policy Fit &
         Monitoring                                           Employing Body
                                                        Management of Admin Budget

                                                              Approval of Strategy
       MHT Manager                                             Approval of Grant
      District Councils
        EHS / NITB
       DARD – RAC

  ALL OF THE ABOVE              NRRTI WORKING                    NRRTI WORKING             NRRTI WORKING
STRUCTURES SERVICED             GROUP 1: Product              GROUP 2: Infrastructure    GROUP 3: Promotion,
  BY AN NRRTI STAFF               Development                    and Public Goods       Marketing and Training
 TEAM EMPLOYED BY            Programme Co-ordinating          Programme Co-ordinating   Programme Co-ordinating

                                                                      Page No 136
MOURNE HERITAGE        Group & Selection Board       Group & Selection Board      Group & Selection Board


                                                            Page No 137
3.2   Memorandum and Articles of Association

                                               Page No 138
3.3   Pen Pictures of Trustees

Maureen Killen         is Secretary of Regeneration of the Mournes Area Limited
                       (ROMAL) and a member of the South Down/South Armagh
                       Local Action Group Ltd., a Leader II company. Maureen lives
                       in   Hilltown     and     is     an   active    member    of   Clonduff
                       Development Enterprise in Hilltown, works for Armagh and
                       Dungannon Health and Social Services Trust where she
                       manages services for people with special needs.

Hugh O‟Neill           is Chairperson of ROMAL, Northern Ireland Leader Network
                       (NILN), South Down/South Armagh Local Action Group Ltd.,
                       a Leader II company and joint Chair of a steering group
                       involved in developing better links between NILN and Cora
                       Leader na hEireann. Hugh sits on the Tourist Development
                       Advisory Committee for Newry & Mourne District Council
                       and is a member of the Northern Ireland Agri Sub-Group
                       which works in an advisory capacity to the local Assembly
                       and EU Commissions. Hugh has recently retired as Manager
                       of Newry VAT Registration Unit of HM Customs and Excise
                       and lives in Rostrevor.

Jim Saunders           is a resident of the Western Mournes and acts as Honorary
                       Secretary    to     the        Kilfeaghan      Farmers   and   Tenants
                       Association.      Jim is a former teacher and lecturer on the
                       Environment, acts as Honorary Treasurer on the Northern
                       Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) and is a board member of
                       the Southern Education and Library Board (SELB).

Desmond Patterson      lives and farms in Trassey Valley, Bryansford.                 He is a
                       Trustee of Clanawhillan Mountains and a member of the
                       Donard group of the Ulster Farmer‟s Union. Desmond also
                       runs a successful agri-tourism business in the Trassey area.

Rosemary Chestnutt     is a Partner in a family business operating Caravan Parks in
                       the Mourne Area.          She is Chairperson of Newry & Mourne
                       District    Council‟s          Tourist   Development      Association.

                                                                                Page No 139
              Rosemary has been actively involved in promoting the
              Mournes at numerous trade fairs.

Isabel Hood   is resident warden of the F.H. Ebbitt Field Study Centre in
              Bryansford and     works as Assistant Advisory Officer for
              Science with the Southern Education and Library Board.
              Isabel is a member of the Association of Heads of Outdoor
              Education Centres (Northern Ireland Region), is a keen sailor
              and lives in Bryansford.

                                                             Page No 140
Bernard Davey     is a former BBC Weather Presenter and is now living in
                  Newcastle. He has a keen interest in environmental matters
                  and is a Trustee of Plant a Tree in Africa, a member of
                  Future in Our Hands and of the RSPB.            Bernard enjoys
                  walking in the Mournes and has published two books on the
                  subject.     Bernard has recently completed a millennium
                  photographic project looking at 100 years of change in the

Reginald Annett   is a well known pedigree sheep breeder who lives and farms
                  near Kilkeel. He is a Trustee of Mourne Mountains Middle
                  and a Director of the Strangford/Down sheepbreeders

Seamus Doyle      is a councillor and ex-Chair of Banbridge District Council,
                  vice-Chair of the East Border Region Committee, vice-Chair
                  of Down Rural Partnership, a member of Northern Ireland
                  Building Control Committee and a member of the Northern
                  Ireland Drainage Council. Seamus works as a Clerk of Works
                  for the Department of Health and Social Services and lives
                  near Ballyward.

Carmel O‟Boyle    is a councillor with Down District Council and is a member
                  the Chairperson of the Client Services Committee. She is a
                  teacher in St. Malachy‟s Secondary School in Castlewellan
                  and serves on the Board of the SELB.            Carmel lives in

William Martin    is   Chair   of   Banbridge   District   Council,   the   Council
                  representative on Banbridge local Strategy Partnership, on
                  the Down Local Strategy Partnership and the representative
                  of the Local Authorities Association for Northern Ireland on
                  the UK Local Agenda 21 Committee. He has been a member
                  of the Southern Education and Library Board for 16 years
                  and is Chair of Rathfriland High School‟s Board of Governors
                  and a member of Drumadonnell new Primary School.
                  William is past president of the Ulster Tourism Development
                  Association, a member of the Rural Housing Association, a

                                                                      Page No 141
                  Director of Mourne Activity Breaks and of ROMAL. . He is
                  from a farming background and lives near Leitrim.

Irene Adair       runs a very successful guest house in Ballymartin and in
                  1997 was awarded the MBE for her services to tourism.
                  Irene was involved with the NI Farm and Country Holidays
                  Association, is a Board member of Northern Ireland Tourist
                  Board, a member of Mourne Activity Breaks and Chair of
                  Kilkeel Development Association.

Anne Diver        is a member and ex-Chair of the N.I. Vintners Association, a
                  member of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, a member of
                  the Board of Governors of the Northern Ireland Hotel and
                  Catering College and a member of the Board of Governors of
                  St. Catherine‟s Primary School in Belfast. Anne also tutors
                  on the Young Enterprise Scheme, is a Publican and lives in
Arthur Mitchell   is a well known local GP from Kilkeel. He has been an active
                  environmental campaigner in Mourne for over 20 years, is a
                  former founder member of CNCC and a former Chair of both
                  the Mournes Advisory Council and the Mourne Committee.

                                                                Page No 142
Dawson Stelfox   is the first Irishman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He is
                 a conservation architect with Consarc Design Group Ltd and
                 lives in Belfast.   He is currently Chairman of the N.I.
                 Countryside Access and Activities Network and a member of
                 the Mountaineering Council of Ireland.

Gerry Douglas    is a councillor for Down District.      He lives in Bryansford
                 village where he was born and where he has been in
                 business since 1960.         Gerry is Chair of the Bryansford
                 Village Committee. Gerry is a member of the South Eastern
                 Education and Library Board, Chairman of the Management
                 of Schools Committee and vice Chair of the South Eastern
                 Group Building Control Committee.

Patrick Kelly    is the manager and founding member of ROMAL. He has a
                 strong   background     in    Community    Development     and
                 previously   managed     the     LEDU   Community     Business
                 Programme. Patrick has also worked on many community
                 regeneration projects with Mentor Consultants. Patrick is a
                 member of     the Newry and         Banbridge Local Strategy
                 Partnerships and is a director of the South Armagn/South
                 Down Local Action Group, a Leader II company.

Sean McCarthy    is a member of Kilcoo and Tollymore Regeneration Ltd and
                 represents their interests on the East Down Rural
                 Community Network. He owns a farm in Kilcoo and is a local
                 publican in the village. Sean lives in Newry.

Isaac Hanna      is a local Councillor and ex-Chair of Newry & Mourne
                 District Council and is currently Chair of the Newry & Kilkeel
                 Institure. Isaac is also a member of the Rural Development
                 Council, the Rural Development Council, the Southern Health
                 Council and the Southern Education and Library Board. Isaac
                 lives in Kilkeel and is a member of a number of local
                 regeneration groups in the area, including the River Valley
                 Development Association.

                                                                  Page No 143
David Thompson            works for the National Trust as Property Manager of the
                          Strangford Lough and South Down properties and previously
                          in the Lake District National Park. Both of these roles has
                          involved extensive experience in footpath erosion repairs.
                          David is a member of the Board of Governors of Cedar
                          Integrated Primary School. In his spare time David enjoys
                          mountain climbing and sailing. David lives in Crossgar.

Jo Whatmough              joined the National Trust in 1967 as Warden at Murlough
                          Natural Nature Reserve and most recently acted as their
                          adviser on nature conservation throughout Northern Ireland.
                          Jo is a member of the civic forum and has worked on
                          government working groups – for DoE on the “N I
                          Biodiversity   Strategy”    and   for   DARD   on    “Vision      for
                          Agriculture 2010”.       In the past Jo was the National Trust
                          representative on the Mournes Committee and was a
                          founding member of the Mournes Advisory Council. Jo lives
                          in Dundrum.

3.4      NRRTI Staff Job Descriptions

TITLE:                   Sustainable     Tourism     Programme    Manager     (Natural
                         Resource Rural Tourism).

EMPLOYER:                The Mourne Heritage Trust.

REPORTING TO:            Trust Manager, Mourne Heritage Trust.

BASED AT:                The Mourne Heritage Trust, 87 Central Promenade,
                         Newcastle, Co. Down with desk space at Warrenpoint
                         and Rathfriland.

PURPOSE OF JOB:          To implement the sustainable tourism strategy for the

                                                                              Page No 144
                        Mournes, to support, co-ordinate and implement
                        sustainable tourism initiatives in the target area of the

SALARY:                 £24,750 - £28,422 (NJC Scale Points 37 –42)


Within the context of the Mourne Heritage Trust‟s Operational Plan, DARD‟s Rural
Development Programme and District-wide development strategies and Northern
Ireland Programme for Government take forward the implementation of the
Sustainable Tourism Strategy for the Mournes.

Working with the wider partnership, the local community networks, the local
community and public and private sectors to ensure the implementation of the

The Manager will operate as an interface between DARD, the Mourne Heritage
Trust, key partners and local communities and will interpret the strategy at local
level and seek opinions.

Through ongoing contact with the public, private and community sectors, the
Manager will aim to create an improved understanding of the strategy and the
objectives of Natural Resource Tourism in rural regeneration and tourism in the
Mourne area.

Playing a co-ordinating role in the public sector response to rural development
and tourism activity in Mourne.

Marketing the Strategy‟s activities and objectives to public, private and voluntary

                                                                        Page No 145
Overseeing all aspects of grant assessment and allocation within the programme
including economic appraisal and financial evaluation of projects.

Authorising payment of grant aid and ensuring all projects are completed as

Ensuring the proper and efficient management and implementation of ongoing
project development.

Servicing the sub-groups and reporting as necessary to the Board of Mourne
Heritage Trust.

To liaise with the sponsoring agencies and key partners in providing all financial
and monitoring information on the programme.

To take responsibility for proper administration of the Natural Resource Rural
Tourism programme, ensuring all guidelines and requirements stipulated by the
EU, SEUPB and NRRT Steering Group are adhered to.

Liasing closely with DARD, NITB, EHS and the Special EU Programmes body on the
implementation of the Strategy and providing these sponsoring agencies with
reports and information as necessary.

Any other reasonable duties which may be considered necessary to ensure the
success of the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative in the Mournes.

To line manage and oversee the work other Natural Resource Rural Tourism Staff.

TITLE:                 Project   Officer   (Natural   Resource   Rural   Tourism

                                                                         Page No 146

EMPLOYER:               The Mourne Heritage Trust.

REPORTING TO:           Sustainable Tourism Programme Manager.

BASED AT:               The Mourne Heritage Trust, 87 Central Promenade,
                        Newcastle, Co. Down with desk space at Warrenpoint
                        and Rathfriland.

PURPOSE OF JOB:         To assist in the development and delivery of the
                        Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Mourne.        To assess
                        and     evaluate    project    applications,    undertake
                        monitoring, auditing and evaluation as required under
                        the Natural Resource Rural Tourism Programme.

SALARY:                 £17,823 - £20,433 (NJC Points 25-30).


To liaise with applicants to ensure that all applications are fully completed and to
summarise grant applications into assessment sheets.

To carry out assessment visits if required and to assist the Board in the
assessment of grant applications.

To carry out economic appraisals and financial evaluations of projects.

To assist in the preparation of letters of offer and to collect essential criteria for
each project.

                                                                           Page No 147
To assess claims for grant payment and carry out site inspections and audit visits
as necessary.

To maintain ongoing contact with groups in receipt of funding to offer support
and share ideas of good practice.

To monitor audit requirements for grants paid, ensuring the project promoters
meet their obligations.

To carry out monitoring visits to successful projects and to assist project
promoters with the collation of information required by the Natural Resource
Rural Tourism Programme, particularly in respect to monitoring and evaluation.

To assist the Strategy‟s public relations activity and to co-ordinate ongoing
dissemination of information to potential programme beneficiaries and other key

To take minutes at NRRT meetings and feedback reports on the progress of
funded projects.

To assist the Programme Manager with all duties relevant to the successful
implementation of the NRRTI Programme.

TITLE:                    Administration/Finance Officer

EMPLOYER:                 The Mourne Heritage Trust.

REPORTING TO:             Sustainable Tourism Programme Manager.

BASED AT:                 The Mourne Heritage Trust, 87 Central Promenade,

                                                                       Page No 148
                        Newcastle, Co. Down.

PURPOSE OF JOB:         To provide clerical support to the Natural Resource
                        Rural Tourism Programme and take responsibility for
                        the day to day administration of the programme.

SALARY:                 £12,879 - £14,802 (NJC Points 15-20).


General administration/clerical support to the Natural Resource Rural Tourism
Programme.    This will include dealing with general correspondence, telephone
and desk enquiries and drafting written replies.

Organising and servicing meetings, minute taking and follow up work in relation
to Natural Resource Rural Tourism.

Operating office machinery - computer, printer, photocopier, fax machine etc.

Maintaining a database of expression of interests and project promoters.

Establishing and maintaining filing systems as appropriate.

To establish and operate IT based financial systems for project assessment,
monitoring and grant expenditure.

Administration of finances in the form of grants payable to groups and
individuals ensuring the proper monitoring of grant monies.

Establishing and maintaining financial NRRT accounting systems. Preparation of
financial reports and updates as necessary.

                                                                      Page No 149
To liase with DARD with regard to payments to project promoters.

To prepare reports on grant allocation and expenditure on a quarterly basis.

Establishing and maintaining an information database on issues relevant to the
Natural Resource Rural Tourism Initiative.

Assisting with the promotional work of the Natural Resource Rural Tourism
Programme, including the provision of information to the public and assisting
with the organisation of events and conferences.

In association with the Mourne Heritage Trust Office Manager, to process invoices
and payments in relation to the administration and running costs of the Natural
Resource Rural Tourism initiative, ensuring all financial procedures are adhered

Any other duties that from time to time may occur that may reasonably be associated
with the above post.

                                                                        Page No 150
Page No 151

1. In order to attract activity visitors there is a fivefold need to
      a.      Present the area as a focus for activities. This is well known to local
              people and to people from Belfast but not to a wider audience other
              than hill walkers.
      b.      Alert people to the wide range of opportunities offered by the
              activities in the area, promotion is currently orientated towards the
              club or experienced user.
      c.      Guide people to appropriate activity sites – this is done in a
              piecemeal way at present.
      d.      Provide information about courses, hire, instruction, day events and
              other activity support services - this information is presented but is
              separately done and partial and there are not many such services.
    Provide management information to activity users to assist sustainable or
    shared use – this level of information is almost entirely missing except at the
    initiative of a governing body or local interest group.

2. Apart from climbing, walking and the casual use of forest, beach and shore
    areas, provision of activities is primarily orientated towards the club user with
    difficulty of access to visitors and tourists. The Mournes is very much a DIY
    area for activities.
3. Provision is least extensive for the „come-and-try-it‟ market or the visiting
    improver. There is limited equipment hire in the area or opportunities to
    come and try activities in a safe and supervised way. There are many outdoor
    centres but these provide for a pre-booked local market. This situation is
    improving but falls well behind competing destinations for activities.
4. Some access-related public transport has been provided for those without
    cars but underused (perhaps under-promoted) and does not cover the whole

                                                                          Page No 152
       area. In common with all landscape areas in Northern Ireland the predominant
       mode of travel used by visitors is the private care and any increase in visitors
       will increase peak day congestion of car parks, access points and settlements
       in the area. Currently traffic seeking to access Newcastle may be queued from
       Dundrum in fair weather at weekend between April and October.
5.    There are few opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs to
     take activities. There are sites at Castlewellan (angling) Kilkeel (angling) Corbett
     (angling) and Dundrum (walking) where provision is made but access is difficult
     elsewhere. All activities need to have sites with access arrangements and clubs
     and providers need to provide adapted or specialised equipment. The DDA will
     require all recreation service providers to the public to make appropriate
     physical provision for people with disabilities by October 2004.
6.    The local economy receives little or no direct revenue gain from sporting
     activities at present, due to the lack of services and the orientation towards the
     DIY market.
7.    Activity holiday promotion is ongoing and professional through Mourne
     Activity breaks and others. However, activities for day visitors, the seasonal
     „bread and butter‟ of activity areas elsewhere, are almost entirely missing
8.    There is almost no exploitation of the air sports for visitors – other mountain
     areas have paragliding tandem flights, over flights in light aircraft etc.
     Newcastle promotes occasional helicopter trips but little else.
9.    There is an over-reliance on Castlewellan Lake for watersports. Consideration
     should be given towards developing another suitable venue e.g Lough Island
     Reavy as a centre, particularly for dinghy sailing, and to the development of a
     users group to assist with management of Castlewellan Lake. Reinstatement of
     the beach at Castlewellan for canoe access could also be considered to protect
     the hulls of craft and ease entry to the water.
10. Bathing water quality should be required for all places where there are contact
     water   sports.   E.g.   Carlingford   Lough,     Newcastle   Harbour,   Annalong,
     Castlewellan Lake, the Upper Bann and Newcastle Beach. The beach at

                                                                              Page No 153
  Newcastle consistently fails to meet the requirements of EU minimum bathing
  water standards.
11. The Mournes area is quite significantly under developed for recreation. For
  example, the coastline of Mourne is underdeveloped from both a walking access
  and a watersports point of view, and could support more recreational diving;
  recreation is primarily focussed around Newcastle, Castlewellan and the High
  Mournes with very little activity towards the north and west of the area, around
  Slieve Croob, west of Rostrevor and within the Kingdom of Mourne.
12. Zoning and management for jet skiing and water skiing at Cranfield is worth
  considering for other parts of the coastline in a co-ordinated way in advance of
  becoming a problem. Similarly windsurfers need to be separated from
13. Jet ski and water ski use at Cranfield appears to be eclipsing all other water
  uses including swimming.
14. There is an increasing environmental impact issue at Cranfield with jet skis
  ranging wider afield and into seal haul out areas and the SPA for birds.
15. There is some ongoing management of multi-use water sports sites but not
  co-ordinated along the coast and not to a standard.
16. There is little or no equipment hire and instruction . Safety supervision would
  be needed if this was introduced. Although this is a seasonal activity visitors
  expect such provision in water sports areas.
17. There is little provision of information on accessible watersports for day
  visitors and tourists
18. Need for more public water sports sites .e.g Dundrum Inner Bay (re-
  establishment of a public water sports focus away from the developed harbour),
  Lough Island Reavy, Castlewellan Lake
19. There is some potential for both shore and small boat sea angling promotion,
  events and services, including potentially a festival or competition for small boat
  sea anglers, based at Annalong or Newcastle.
20. There is a need for the provision of more signed linear access routes

                                                                          Page No 154
a.    for riding ( around the clusters of riding centres) and for longer traffic free
     trekking to explore the countryside
b.    for off-road cycling ( including family, downhill and cross-country disciplines)
c.    for longer distance walking
21. There is a need to secure open country access and resist fencing, masts, wind
     farms on aesthetic grounds and on the grounds of reducing the quality of
22. There is a need to continue encouraging and supporting provision of services
     such as café, small car parking (e.g. farm car parks), guided walks, and rural
     transport to support walkers.
23. Some public lands are significantly underused for recreation – e.g. Lough
     Island Reavy, Annalong Wood, Silent Valley, Narrow Water Forest
24. There is a need to provide new facilities for off-road cycling to formalise use,
     displace use from sites where it is currently causing nuisance, and to provide a
     cycling product that can attract day visitors
25. An upland management strategy should be considered to reconcile the needs
     of farmers, land managers, conservation organisations and recreational users.
26. The Mournes is too small an area to provide a week‟s hillwalking for tourists–
     and consideration of joint approach between S. Armagh, Cooleys and Mournes
     would be worthwhile.
27. There are very few farm campsites in the Mournes, „wild‟ campsites are
     arguably overused and abused because of this lack of provision. Provision is
     particularly poor for visitors who do not want a forest park or large campsite
     experience and for young people visiting Newcastle.
28. There is a lack of identity of the Mournes in publications, as an activity holiday
     venue or as a venue where a holiday or short break can be enhanced by
29. There is a relative scarcity of activity events through the year. Many people‟s
     breaks will therefore not coincide with an event.
30. There is a need for guesthouse and hotel managers to understand the needs
     of a wider range of activity participants.

                                                                           Page No 155
31. Current levels of use of the unsurfaced Mourne mountain pathways appear to
  be unsustainable. Considerable effort has been put by the National Trust and
  the Mourne Heritage Trust into making some of the key access paths (e.g. the
  Slieve Donard path) more robust. However considerable work remains to be
  done and further initiatives such as footpath repair and surfacing, attracting
  walkers elsewhere in the Mournes as a whole rather than focussing attention on
  the High Mournes, and educating users would be appropriate. Upland footpath
  work should only be undertaken in the context of an overall uplands
  management plan.
32. Mourne Heritage Trust has developed a Farmers‟ Liaison group in the past few
  years to assist in communication and discussion and resolving issues in relation
  to additional provision and management of recreation. Its Mourne Ranger
  service provides support to landowners in their role as recreation providers and
  helps troubleshoot when there are difficulties. Instruments such as the Mourne
  Sense Code are used to inform walkers in particular on responsible use. The
  ranger service and the capacity of MHT to facilitate discussion and co-working
  on countryside recreation development and management needs to be further
  enhanced and developed.
33. To date, apart from membership contributions via Friends of Mourne to the
  Mourne Heritage Trust, there has been no mechanism of enabling recreational
  users to pay back contributions towards the management of the countryside
  recreation resource. In common with other landscape areas in Britain and
  elsewhere there would be merit in considering the alternatives for a visitor
  payback scheme in the Mournes. This is not envisaged as encouraging charged
  recreation where this is not currently the pattern.
34. Some recreation facilities that have been provided in the past have fallen into
  disrepair; are no longer adequate for the uses to which they are put; or could be
  enhanced significantly to improve their visitor function. Examples include
  Carrick Little car park, the Deer‟s Meadow and Spelga Dam car parks, Annalong
  Marine Park and slipway, Castlewellan Lake ( although attractive and well

                                                                        Page No 156
  managed this could become and important public water sports facility); and
  Drumkeeragh Forest.
35. Quantitative and qualitative research about recreational use of the Mournes
  area is scant and limited recreational impact monitoring takes place. This has
  led to a difficulty with baseline setting for the strategy and will remain an issue
  unless the strategy addresses it.


Communication and Marketing
 Addressin              Actions                 Lead       Priority    Time       Cost over 4
  g Issue                                      agency                                 years
     No.                                                                              (£k)
1a,1b        To promote the Mournes RTO                    1          2002        £100k
             as an activity area to day Councils
             visitors and tourists
1c,1d        To provide information to MHT                 1          2002-       £80k
             visitors   on    sustainable                             2006
             sites for activities
             Maps,      Guides,      Route
             cards,     signboards     on
1c           To provide signage to MHT                     1          2002-       £30k
             assist visitors in finding Roads                         2006
             activity sites                  Service
                                             Site owners
1a,1b,       Develop,     manage      and MHT              1          2002        £40k
1c,1d, 1e    maintain an activity web CAAN
             site as a marketing and
             management tool

                                                                              Page No 157
1c, 1d, 1e, Raise        awareness          of M.H.T          2          2003-       £20k
17           available        countryside                                2004
             recreation      sites,        and
             recreational            impacts
             amongst accommodation
             providers,         encourage
             good          environmental
             practice     and        increase
             accommodation provider
             awareness          of         the
             differing      needs           of
             recreational users.
1e           Develop       environmental M.H.T                2          2003-       £20k
             information                   and                           2004
             education initiative such
             as „Leave only Footprints‟

Facilities and Infrastructure
Addressin                Actions                     Lead     Priority    Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                           agency
9            Develop      new      sites    as MHT            1          2003-       £250k
             focal        points            for Water                    2006
             watersports-                        Service
             e.g.    Annalong,        Lough DCAL
             Island Reavey, River Bann
             canoe sites
11           To develop 2 new sites as MHT                    4          2003-       £500k
             focal   points     for        land Landowner                2006
             recreation                          s

                                                                                 Page No 158
11, 34   To          improve                the Owners      1   2002-       £100k
         recreation function and MHT                            2006
         the        appearance               of
         existing      facilities          and
         access           points            for
         recreation– e.g.
         Carrick     Little car            park
         and access
         Deer‟s      meadow            –    car
         parks,     approaches             and
         roadside lay bys.
         Castlewellan Lake
         Annalong slipway
31,25,   To examine the potential MHT                       1   2002        £60k
         and        implement              new EHS
         access points to the High
         e.g. Dinnywater
               Spelga Dam,
11,14    To         safeguard              and MHT          2   2002-       £20k
         enhance access to the Loughs                           2006
         shores      of     Carlingford Agency
         Lough       for    sustainable
         walking           and         water
24       Provision     of        off       road M.H.T       1   2002-       £40k
         cycling facilities                       C.A.A.N       2006
         e.g. Rostrevor Forest                    Forest

                                                                        Page No 159
5            Carry out disability audit M.H.T                 1          2002-       £40k
             of     all     existing           and DCs                   2006
             include        provision          for
             disabled users.
             Provide         support            to
             upgrade                     existing
             recreation       facilities        to
             enable compliance with
             the                       Disability
             Discrimination Act.

Visitor Services
Addressin                 Actions                    Lead     Priority    Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                           agency
27           To           increase             the MHT        3          2004-       £300k
             availability         of      activity                       2006
             friendly      accommodation
             such as Bunk barns, Farm
             camp         sites        articularly
             where                             the
             accommodation                is    in
             association with activities
             and      services         well-used
             access points or activity
22,          To encourage a range of MHT                      1          2002     – £10k
             guided opportunities to Mourne                              2004
             experience           Mourne life Activity
             e.g.          farm            walks, Breaks
             shepherding,                  stone
             walling, or to meet local
             people- e.g guided walks

                                                                                 Page No 160
4,           To encourage recreation MHT                     1          2002     – £80k
             related      rural        public Translink                 2004
             transport      services      to
             develop               through
             scheduling                  and
4            To     encourage      activity Mourne           2          2003-       £40k
             related private transport Heritage                         2004
             and interpretation,               Trust.
7,28,        To continue to develop MAB                      3          2003-       £12k
29,30        and      provide     packages                              2005
             including activities and
Addressin               Actions                   Lead       Priority    Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                       agency
23,          Provide linear river parks MHT                  2          2003-       £120k
             and         access          e.g. Councils                  2006
             Whitewater river, Kilkeel
             River,     Shimna,        Upper
21           Continue to assert public Councils              1          2002-
             rights of way in the area                                  2006
23           Provide       access         at Water           1          2002-       £25k
             Dinnywater                        Service                  2003
23           Improve access at Narrow Forest                 1          2002-       £25k
             Water Forest                      Service                  2003
20b          Provide     new      off-road Forest            1          2002-       C.A.A.N
             cycling      facilities      at Service                    2003
             Rostrevor                         Cycle clubs
34           Develop      new      circular Landowner        3          2004-       £180k
             walks      around      Spelga s with MHT                   2005
             Dam        Fofanny        Dam,
             Corbett Lake?

                                                                                Page No 161
20a          Provide    a       network     of MHT            2          2003-       £200k
             signed off-road horse- Riding                               2005
             riding    paths          focussed Centres
             around    the       cluster    of
             riding     centres          near
             Newcastle                     and
             Castlewellan and in the
20b          Provide    a       network     of M.H.T          2          2003-       £150k
             signed off-road cycling Forest S                            2005
20c          Provide    a       network     of M.H.T,         2          2003-       £150k
             signed     off-road         long Water                      2005
             distance walking trails             &Forest.S

Site, area and strategy management
Addressin              Actions                       Lead     Priority    Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                           agency
26,31        Develop        a         Mournes MHT             1          2002-       £30k
             upland management plan                                      2003
             that takes into account
             the needs and realities of
             recreation,        the     nature
             conservation         objectives
             and      the       needs       of
31           Implement                 Upland M.H.T           1          2002-       £400k
             erosion                   control                           2003

                                                                                 Page No 162
12,13,14,    Develop          two         water MHT          2          2003-       £40k
15           recreation        management                               2004
             plans for Dundrum Bay
             and       for         Carlingford
             Lough, including detailed
             site              management
             planning          for        water
             recreation       at     Cranfield
             and at Newcastle. Provide
             support      to       implement
             good        practice          from
1a,1b,1c,1   Provide         facilities      for MHT         2          2003-       £30k
d,1e,        storage manipulating and                                   2006
26,31,34,    updating maps, web site
12,13,14,    and publications
All          Further         develop         the MHT     and 1          2002-       £30k
             CRWG        to        include    a partners                2006
             strategic         development
             and    implementation           of
             the Mourne Countryside
             Recreation Strategy

12,13,14,    Develop      a     Countryside MHT          and 1          2002-       £20k
15,26,31     Recreation                   Forum others                  2006
             bringing                together
33           Develop           a       „visitor MHT      and 3          2004-       £30k
             payback                  scheme‟ others                    2006
             including levy provision

Events and Activities
Addressin                Actions                    Lead     Priority    Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                         agency

                                                                                Page No 163
2,3,7        Provide       two            further Communitie          3          By 2004    £12k
             activity festivals in the s or clubs
             area      based         on      e.g.
             canoeing, small boat sea
             angling       or        mountain
             biking (forest based)
2,3,7        To        further         develop MHT                and 3          By 2004    10k
             activity day camps for outdoor
             young people staying in centres
             the resorts, with a nature
             conservation        awareness
2,3,7        To increase the number MHT                               2          By 2003    £10k
             of available day activities
             and       events        to     daily
             throughout          the        main
             visitor season.
6            To     encourage,         support MHT                    2          By 2003    £80k
             and        assist            activity
             businesses         to        provide
             daily activities to people
             who book on the day.

Research and Monitoring
Addressin                Actions                           Lead       Priority     Dates          Cost
g Issue No                                                agency
35           To carry out a biennial MHT                              1          2002       £40k
             survey of users                         EHS                         2004
                                                     FS                          2006
35           Install counters on some MHT                             1          2002       £10k
             footpaths          and        bridle FS
             trails.                                 Councils
             Initiate periodic counts of
             peak day uses of key
             sites and facilities

                                                                                        Page No 164
31           To     initiate    regular MHT           1        2002-       £80k
             monitoring    of   erosion EHS                    2006
             and other environmental
             impacts on sensitive sites
             or sites under current

Cost summary
     Total project costs (over 4 years)       £ 3,534,000
     Priority 1 costs                         £ 1,500,000
     Priority 2 costs                         £   870,000
     Priority 3 costs                         £   544,000
     Priority 4 costs                         £   500,000

Implementation requirements

The strategy needs to be co-ordinated and for one body to take the lead and
progress key elements. It is therefore recommended that a countryside recreation
strategy officer is employed to oversee implementation of the strategy and to
carry out key work during the period 2002-2006. The cost of this officer should
be added to the strategy and is estimated at £120,000 including costs of
employment and office support during this period.

                                                                       Page No 165
    A. Tourist Trips, Nights Spent and Total Expenditure
District Council       Total trips 1999 Nights spent 1999   Total spend (£) 1999
Belfast                      526.4              2271.6              79.7
Coleraine                    266.4              1369.7              37.9
North Down                   136.4              650.3               20.5
Fermanagh                    156.9              647.6               20.2
Moyle                        109.0              430.3               17.4
Derry                        101.6              538.0               17.2
Down                         152.2              668.2               16.7
Antrim                        98.4              350.0               14.0
Lisburn                       91.0              417.3               11.2
Larne                         73.2              243.9               10.8
Newtownabbey                  60.5              297.2                7.6
Ballymena                     63.0              289.0                7.2
Newry and Mourne              75.2              293.5                7.2
Ards                          80.3              426.0                7.0
Craigavon                     53.1              231.5                6.9
Limavady                      40.8              173.6                6.7
Carrickfergus                 41.4              190.9                6.1
Dungannon                     36.7              192.2                4.9
Strabane                      25.0              156.4                4.2
Omagh                         37.5              194.7                3.8
Cookstown                     24.0              127.7                3.3
Armagh                        24.7              139.8                2.9
Castlereagh                   15.0               71.1                2.3
Banbridge                     19.9               87.3                2.2
Ballymoney                    17.4               89.7                1.9
Magherafelt                   16.1               80.5                1.8

                                                                                   Page No 166
    B. Average Weekly Income (by LGD)
District Council         Gross average weekly earnings 2001
Belfast                                433.50
Castlereagh                            378.40
Newtownabbey                           377.70
Fermanagh                              373.20
Carrickfergus                          367.10
Larne                                  367.10
Lisburn                                364.80
Craigavon                              360.40
Banbridge                              357.30
Ballymena                              352.50
Ards                                   350.70
North Down                             349.50
Omagh                                  346.50
Armagh                                 344.30
Limavady                               343.00
Dungannon                              332.90
Derry                                  330.50
Magherafelt                            330.20
Newry and Mourne                       330.20
Coleraine                              326.90
Down                                   324.20
Antrim                                 324.00
Ballymoney                             318.00
Strabane                               303.40
Cookstown                              294.40
Moyle                                  230.90

                                                              Page No 167
C. Percentage Unemployment
District Council   Ward              Total unemployed   Total econ active   Total population 1999 estimates   Percentage Unemployed
Banbridge          Katesbridge               32                1044                       1755                         1.82
Banbridge          Rathfriland               61                1260                       2250                         2.71
Down               Castlewellan              40                 223                       4200                         0.95
Down               Donard                    52                1542                       2816                         1.85
Down               Dundrum                   70                1281                       2241                         3.12
Down               Dunmore                   33                1526                       2520                         1.31
Down               Murlough                  95                1479                       2519                         3.77
Down               Shimna                    80                1459                       2739                         2.92
Down               Tollymore                 59                1386                       2463                         2.40
Newry and Mourne   Annalong                  60                1482                       2706                         2.21
Newry and Mourne   Binnian                   39                1770                       3260                         1.20
Newry and Mourne   Kilkeel Central           41                1562                       2847                         1.44
Newry and Mourne   Kilkeel South             60                1557                       2744                         2.19
Newry and Mourne   Lisnacree                 51                1612                       2827                         1.80
Newry and Mourne   Mayobridge                59                1628                       2769                         2.13
Newry and Mourne   Rostrevor                 95                1909                       3296                         2.88
Newry and Mourne   Seaview                   88                1755                       3093                         2.85
Newry and Mourne   Spelga                    66                1538                       2704                         2.45
Newry and Mourne   Tullyhappy                48                1341                       2365                         2.03

   D. Education – i. At Least 5GCSEs
District Council   Ward                    school leavers with at least 5 GCSE's (A-C) 1999
Banbridge          Katesbridge                                     21
Banbridge          Rathfriland                                     19
Down               Castlewellan                                    34

                                                                              Page No 168
Down               Donard                                          29
Down               Dundrum                                         18
Down               Dunmore                                         31
Down               Murlough                                        30
Down               Shimna                                          25
Down               Tollymore                                       32
Newry and Mourne   Annalong                                        24
Newry and Mourne   Binnian                                         31
Newry and Mourne   Clonallan                                       42
Newry and          Kilkeel Central                                 18
Newry and Mourne   Kilkeel South                                   20
Newry and Mourne   Lisnacree                                       36
Newry and Mourne   Mayobridge                                      36
Newry and Mourne   Rostrevor                                       33
Newry and Mourne   Seaview                                         31
Newry and Mourne   Spelga                                          33
   D. Education – ii. Further Education
District Council   Ward              school leavers going onto Further & Higher education 1999
Banbridge          Katesbridge                                  18
Banbridge          Rathfriland                                  20
Down               Castlewellan                                 32
Down               Donard                                       30
Down               Dundrum                                      17
Down               Dunmore                                      30
Down               Murlough                                     34
Down               Shimna                                       31
Down               Tollymore                                    30
Newry and Mourne   Annalong                                     28
Newry and Mourne   Binnian                                      33
Newry and Mourne   Clonallan                                    47

                                                                               Page No 169
Newry and          Kilkeel Central   20
Newry and Mourne   Kilkeel South     28
Newry and Mourne   Lisnacree         33
Newry and Mourne   Mayobridge        40
Newry and Mourne   Rostrevor         36
Newry and Mourne   Seaview           31
Newry and Mourne   Spelga            32

                                          Page No 170

Main Findings
   A. Local Partnerships – for tourism product development and for visitor


   (i) Tourism Product Development Initiatives and Partnerships

            Mournes Heritage Trust

       River Valley Development Association

       Mourne Activity Breaks

       Kilkeel Development Association

       Seeconnell Initiative

       Kingdoms of Down

       Mourne Homesteads

   (ii) Visitor Management Initiatives and Partnerships

       Mournes Countryside Working Group

       The National Trust

   B. Level and Quality of Experience for Visitors based on the Natural & Cultural


   -   Rich in natural and historic resources and the whole

   -   Mournes name generates an image of the great outdoors and wilderness.

   -   Walking trails are numerous and usage appears high

   -   A significant number of historic sites dot the area although few would have

       a major reputation as a tourism attraction

   -   The Museums and Visitor Centres of the area have a difficult time out of

       the summer season, and most close.

                                                                       Page No 171
   -   Innovative centres based on culture, such as the Bronte Centre have not

       experienced major demand.

   -   Newcastle is a well-established holiday resort, which acts as a counterpoint

       to the isolation many wish to experience in the Mournes. It does however

       have a proximity that may have potential for linkages to be improved.

   -   Shortage of detailed and easily accessible information on levels of usage
       across the area.

Level of Investment in Skills Development
   -   42% of Visitor Attractions and 11% of B&B/GH were currently engaged in
       training of some sort in 2001
   -   All reported low levels of familiarity with training initiatives. For example
       80% of B&B/GH and 81% of Visitor attractions reported No Knowledge of
       Further Education Courses
   -   Of the total number of respondents 78% of visitor attractions and 54% of
       Bed & Breakfasts reported a training need for a general update on
       legislative requirements
   -   The survey indicates a need both for training in more mundane matters of
       legislative compliance but also in the key area of business development
       and marketing.
   -   Multi skilled tourism business managers are a clear need across the
       various areas.
       In summary there is considerable scope to develop IT training under NRRTI
       aimed at both basic understanding but also at practical usage including
       marketing and reservations

Level and Demand for different types of Accommodation
       i.    Hotels - Room occupancy rate for the region reached 58% in May

             2001 and was at its lowest in December 2000 at 38%. These figures

             mask the fact that the higher-grade hotels which make up the bulk

                                                                         Page No 172
       of the rooms would have done considerably better and the small

       low-grade hotels considerably worse. Visitor Content (from outside

       NI) was at its highest in June at 64% and at its lowest in December at


ii.    Guest Houses - Occupancy Rate: The Guest House Room Occupancy

       rate for the South East Region was 33% for 2001, less than the

       Northern Ireland average of 37%. Overall NI Guesthouse Occupancy

       was 34% for April 2001, rose to 49% in June and July, 58% in August,

       and fell back to 44% in September. (B&B Occupancy as will be seen

       below is always less than Guesthouse – premises may not be open

       for part of the year and family owners may be away). Combined

       Guesthouse and B&B room occupancy rate for the South East Region

       ranged form 24% in April 2001 to 39% in August 2001. This

       compares with the NI average for these months of 25% and 45%.

iii.   B&Bs - The B&B Room Occupancy rate for the South East Region

       reached 22% in 2001 – the Northern Ireland average. The NI

       occupancy rate for B&Bs stood at 20% in April 2001 and peaked at

       37% in August. By September it had fallen back to 26%. As stated

       above the Combined Guesthouse and B&B room occupancy rate for

       the South East Region ranged from 24% in April 2001 to 39% in

       August 2001. This compares with the NI average for these months

       of 25% and 45%.

iv.    Hostel - There are no published figures available for hostels. The

       six here are so different in nature that any overall comparison would

       be meaningless.

                                                                  Page No 173
       v.      Self Catering - In 1999 the South East Region achieved 37%

               occupancy for the April – September season. This compares with

               51% in 1995 but product supply was less then. Occupancy peaked at

               61% in August and was lowest in April at 21%. The NI average was

               25% in April and 64% in August. Only 33% of visitors were NI

               residents – the lowest of any region substantially with GB taking a

               substantial 42%.

       vi.     Caravan & Campsites - The area is relatively well endowed on paper

               at least. Some static caravan sites that appear to cater for touring

               caravans, at times do not. Others do not take tents. At least one

               promoted caravan and campsite seems rarely to have opened.

               Camping facilities are harder to find particularly in the High


Level & Effectiveness of Marketing Activity
   -   Over 90% of visitors to the Mournes originated evenly between NI and ROI
   -   One - third of Mourne enquiries emanate from GB and a much smaller
       percentage (circa 3%) from North America and Continental Europe. Of those
       enquiries over 40% were specific to walking products, festivals and events.
   -   Due to its geographic location it is unusual in that it has no water based or
       sea angling products.
   -   For an area famous for its elegant hotels in earlier times there is little hotel
       stock    now    available,   the   accommodation       bank    dominated     by
       guesthouse/B&B sectors.

                                                                           Page No 174
      -   Golf product one of the area icons and promotions undertaken generated
          hundreds of brochures being distributed, new trade contacts and direct
          contact with hundreds of potential golfing visitors.
      -   Mail shots undertaken to special interest groups for promotion of Festivals
          and Events e.g. one walking festival attracted some 300 walkers.
-     Multiplicity of promotional images and brochures.

-     The Mournes are promoted as a core element of the campaigns and literature.

      It is not possible to separate out their benefit as a single component.

Level & Quality of Visitor Management
      -   Level of Understanding between the Tourism & Environment Sectors: very
      -   Contact between the Sectors: very good
      -   Number of Management Initiatives currently under way relating to Tourism
          & the
          Environment: N/A
      -   Contact with other Stakeholders e.g. farming: very good
      -   Involvement of Private & Voluntary Sectors: reasonable
Level & Quality of Environmental Management
(a)       Quality of strategic guidance to the tourism sector - Absence of any
          Planning Policy Statement on Tourism Development by the Planning
(b)       Quality of visitor information and interpretation at natural resource

          amenities - Under the Mourne Heritage Trust Mourne Interpretation

          Strategy, panels are provided at strategic sties, for example car parks,

          viewpoints and beauty spots, to assist the visitor with information about

          the Area of Outstanding Beauty.

(c)       Level of public awareness of environmental issue - The level of public
          awareness of issues in the High Mournes is high, examples being of litter
          and fly tipping. The Mournes Heritage Trust can keep the issues in front of

                                                                             Page No 175
         local residents.    Councils also increase awareness when incidents take
         place, as     can   central   government.   On the    coastal   plain, holistic
         environmental awareness is perhaps lower. One example is the visual and
         amenity effect of coastal caravan parks.
(d)      Resources available for environmental initiatives - Compared to the

         amount of money brought into the area, the amounts available to spend on

         environmental initiatives are relatively small. In addition, the E.H.S.

         provides an annual grant from its Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

         budget to the Mournes Heritage Trust for its activities.

(e)      Level of understanding within the environmental sector of the needs of

         the visitor - There is therefore evidence that the level of understanding is

         increasing by adopting a co-ordinated approach.

Level & Quality of Community Involvement in promoting the Tourism Experience.
      (a) The range of community tourism projects

         There is a considerable range of projects, which have been produced for

         community tourism in the Mournes in the last ten years, one example

         being at Seeconnell (at Slieve Croob), which has become the hub of the

         local community as well as a tourist draw.

      (b) The level of involvement with the broader rural infrastructure

         Community tourism projects with their attendant positive results for their

         communities, can assist with complementing farm incomes and therefore

         help keep people in their hinterland.

      (c) The quality of the product and service to visitors

         The quality of the product is on the whole, good to excellent. Much of the

         experience depends on maintenance but also, most importantly, on the

         welcome the visitor receives and further study needs to be done to monitor

         this point.

                                                                              Page No 176
   (d) The interface between community projects from difference cultural


       Where the projects are not single identity, there appears to be a good level
of interface

Mourne Tourism Resources - 2001

                                                                         Page No 177
Accommodation                Attractions   Activity and Special Events
                                                                Celtic Fusion,
62 B&B                Mourne                                    Castlewellan
                                           6 Forest Parks &
establishments        Countryside Centre                        British Seniors Golf
11 Guest houses       Cloughmore Big                            Open
                                           22 Walking Trails
8 Hotels              Stone, Kilbroney                          Mourne
                                           7 Cycling Trails
6 Hostels             Park                                      International
                                           5 Golf Courses
63 Self Catering      Dunaman Coutrt                            Walking Festival
                                           6 Equestrian
establishments        Grave, Kilkeel                            Ulster Irish Dancing
1 Touring caravan     Holy Well, High                           Championships
                                           Murlough Nature
park for 12           Cross, Bronachs                           HOD Pipeband
caravans only, 10     Bell                                      Championships
                                           Slievenalargy Open
caravan parks for     Kilbroney                                 Fiddlers Green
367 caravans &        Graveyard,                                Festival, Rostrevor
                                           Lacken Bog ASSI
140 tents, and 9      Rostrevor                                 Maidens of Mourne
                                           Begney Lake
parks which           Kilfeaghan Dolmen                         Festival
                                           Ballyroney Lake
weren‟t explicit in   Portal Tomb,                              Wee Binnian
                                           Coco‟s Indoor
their figures         Rostrevor
                                           Adventure Complex Walking Festival
                      Motte at Dunaman,
                                           Tropicana Complex Local Heritage
                      Kilkeel                                   Tours (organised
                                           1 Blue Flag Beach
                      Old Christian Site                        by Banbridge TIC) :
                                           Annalong Marina
                      in Mourne,                                Bronte Homeland,
                                           Kilkeel Harbour
                      Lisnacree                                 Slieve Croob,
                                           Mourne Wall
                      Ross Monument,                            Kinallen
                                           Thrills & Spills
                                           Childrens Indoor
                                           Adventure Park
                                           Municipal Park
                      Rathfriland Castle
                                           Donard Park
                      Slieve Croob Cairn
                                           Bronte Homeland
                      Kinallen Craft
                      Binders Cove

                                                                       Page No 178

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