Finance Minister, Conor Murphy visited Cuilcagh Mountain Special Area of Conservation in County Fermanagh this week to hear about some of the work undertaken by the Collaborative Action for the Natural Network (CANN) project that was awarded €9.4m of funding under the cross-border INTERREG VA programme.
During the visit on Wednesday, the Minster heard from various partners from the CANN project including Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Ulster Wildlife, who are working to restore the precious peatland habitat on this iconic mountain and surrounding areas.
Following the visit, the Minister said: “I am delighted to have visited Cuilcagh Mountain boardwalk which is just one of many must-see visitor attractions in Fermanagh.
“It was great to see first-hand how funding from the INTERREG VA programme is being utilised by this cross-border environmental project of the Collaborative Action for the Natura Network to help improve the condition of protected habitats and species within the area.
“Protecting our heartlands and the species within them is vitally important. This project being led by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is a great example of effective collaboration between local authorities, research institutions, charities and the local cross border communities working towards a common goal of improving the environmental condition of Special Areas of Conservation.”
Jennifer Fulton, Chief Executive of Ulster Wildlife Trust, commented on the visit: “Restoring peatland offers significant value for money preventing the loss of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and in their long-term removal and storage. They are a source of clean water and can reduce the risk of damaging and expensive flash floods downstream, not to mention the cultural and amenity value of these beautiful and biodiverse habitats.
“It was great to have the Minister visit today to show him how the INTERREG VA funding is being applied, whilst demonstrating the benefits that investing in our peatlands pays dividends annually.”
Notes to editors:
- Photos: Pic: Finance Minister Conor Murphy with Jennifer Fulton, CEO of Ulster Wildlife, and Jim McAdam, Ulster Wildlife.
- The CANN project is a cross-border environment project which aims to improve the condition of protected habitats and support priority species found within Northern Ireland, the Border Region of Ireland and Scotland, allowing the region to meet key EU biodiversity targets and ensuring the future of these internationally important habitats and species. Made up of leading government departments, local authorities, research institutions and charities from across the three jurisdictions, the CANN project team is working together with local communities and stakeholders towards a common goal of improving the environmental condition of Special Areas of Conservation.
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