Donegal County Council is set to benefit from INTERREG Funding of €1.6m to implement the ASCENT project.
Together with project partners Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife, Finland, Hordaland County Council, Norway, Soil Conservation Service of Iceland and Mourne Heritage Trust, the ASCENT project will address the environmental challenges facing the conservation and enhancement of Areas of Natural beauty in the partner regions.
The ‘ASCENT’ project which is being supported by the Interreg Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme will develop management plans across the programme area to assist Local Authorities and other stakeholders to monitor these sites and implement innovative measures to ensure their economic and environmental sustainability.
The project will look at how to use and manage the mountains and upland areas responsibly, will examine new ways to deal with the sites, learn from other regions using a teacher learner principle, examine habitat damage and habitat restoration, and introduce appropriate site specific mitigation measures. The pilot site is Errigal in Donegal. The project will include three areas of activity in relation to Donegal.
- To undertake international learning and knowledge exchange and transfer across the partner regions
- Designing solutions and interventions for sustainable environmental management
- Trialling of practical initiatives for sustainable environmental management
Gerry Finn, Director of Northern & Western Regional Assembly welcomed the announcement of this funding and wish Donegal County Council well with this initiative.
Donegal County Council Chief Executive Seamus Neely also welcomed this project stating “I am delighted with the announcement of this funding which represents a substantial investment in exploring new concepts for balancing tourism, cultural and economic interests with environmental needs. The project will disseminate and generate knowledge on the impacts on the environment, local biodiversity resources and promote civic pride among communities of their environmental resources, and unique local cultural heritage. By working collaboratively with partners in Ireland and Northern Ireland, Scotland, Norway, Iceland and Finland, we are in a position to secure this level of investment for the county.”
This project is supported by the Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme 2014-2020 with support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).