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RSPB Royal Society for Protection of Birds

SUMMARY

Name: RSPB Royal Society for Protection of Birds
Location: Aghalee, Craigavon.
County: Armagh
Total Cost: £ 280,859.00
Axis: AXIS 3 : SOAR
Duration: 20 months
Telephone: 028 90491547

PROJECT SUMMARY

Improvements to the visitor facilities at Portmore Lough Nature Reserve which will enable the promotion of the reserve more effectively as a special interest and eco-tourism destination.

BACKGROUND

Portmore Lough Nature Reserve is recognised as an example of conservation excellence in Northern Ireland and offers a variety of different natural habitats for visitors to enjoy, ranging from reed bed to ditches to open Lough to wildflower meadows. A range of wildlife can also be seen throughout the year.

ACTIVITIES

Items funded:

  • Upgrade of existing Information Centre
  • Construction of a new ‘pre-fabricated’ Lecture Room which will provide office space, classroom, water based toilet facilities, disabled toilet facilities, a drying room.
  • Development of a new pathway through the woodland
  • Upgrade of the existing pathway
  • Replacement of existing boardwalk to meet DDA regulations
  • Construction of a new raised viewing platform
  • Placement of six signs in and around the area to assist visitors in location the site and associated facilities.

BENEFITS

The new facilities will enable them to compete effectively with other wildlife tourism destinations. Upon completion of the proposed project, RSPB estimate that the number of visitors to Portmore Lough will double to at least 10,000 per annum.The promoter hopes by April 2011, to create a new access path and raised viewing platform (DDA Compliant) across the reserve meadows to the bird hide, providing all weather access to the hide and its views over the Lough. They will then install a custom made building at the site, providing toilets, an office and a wet weather room for use for RSPB events, meetings, community groups, and potentially schools.

LESSONS

The funding has enabled the RSPB to upgrade the information shelter, making it weather proof and a more attractive place to learn about the natural heritage of the reserve. Visitors can now learn about the natural heritage of Portmore Lough.