The National Trust

Landscape conservation and community engagement in Northern Ireland.

National Trust
Walking at Divis and the Black Mountain, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

The Foundation has always supported landscape conservation projects, especially those that engage local communities. Our latest grant to the National Trust (NT) for its project in Northern Ireland is a good example. 

Divis and the Black Mountain rest in the heart of the Belfast Hills. They provide free green space to some of the most marginalised communities in the UK. But the NT’s research shows that almost 200,000 local people currently do not use the mountain. This is despite the positive impact that being connected to nature has on our lives. The NT is therefore embarking on a major project to restore the mountain. The project will protect the peatland and wildlife that is at risk and interpret the mountain’s 9,000-year human history. They will engage local communities with a particular focus on the most disadvantaged.  

We were happy to make a grant, over three years, to help this major conservation project in Northern Ireland. It will help local people connect to this at-risk landscape to ensure its long-term sustainability. 

In an area where many still live in communities affected by the legacy of division and deprivation from the Troubles and are often disconnected from the nature that surrounds them, the vision for Divis and the Black Mountain is to become a uniting sanctuary for all. Garfield Weston Foundation’s grant is invaluable for two reasons. It will help fund vital elements of the delivery phase of the project between 2023 and 2027 including connecting people with the restorative power of nature. In addition, this significant financial commitment is helping us access critical support from other funders.

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