ASCENT - THE BACKGROUND
Ireland, Northern Ireland, Finland, Iceland and Norway are places of outstanding natural beauty
In 2016, representatives from all five regions came together, connected by a vision – for the protection and management of their respective much loved upland sites and natural areas,
Exploring uplands and natural areas is now a widely shared and much-loved pastime, thanks to a modern day appetite for adventure and an era of effective digital marketing and the proliferation of Social Media. Tourism authorities promote the outstanding beauty of these natural assets while in the ever digital fast paced world, the health industry reiterates the need to reduce screen time, to connect with nature and exercise more. As a result the calling to escape into nature to hike, walk and climb have never been stronger, nor better met.
The problem occurs when these peaks become a victim of their own success. The human impact associated with increased footfall, in an unregulated manner, poses an immeasurable threat to these areas of outstanding natural beauty. The evidence is clear, across the seven ASCENT sites, the irreplaceable and unique natural resources, sources of fascination and joy for all those who visit them, are in danger of erosion and permanent damage.
THE ASCENT PROJECT
Returning to 2016, how could committed conservationists, local community groups, local authorities and environmental official’s work together to protect their respective sites in a manner which would raise awareness, increase knowledge, change behaviour and provide a solution and continue to facilitate the countless families, tourists, explorers and adventure enthusiasts to experience the majesty of the mountains?
Funded by the INTERREG VB Northern Periphery and Arctic Programme (2014-2020), with support of European regional Development Fund , under the priority objective for ‘increased capacity for sustainable environmental management’, the ASCENT project was born.
Focusing on clear communications and a partnership approach, ASCENT brought together local and environmental authorities to collectively address the environmental challenges in seven Northern European Upland sites – all of which face challenges associated with increased visitor numbers and unregulated access.
Marrying their collective experience to create new ways to conserve, protect and sustain these wonderful sites without taking from the experience offered, ASCENT is a multi-region, multi-language legacy project rooted in collaboration, sustainability, conservation, international education and the power of communities working together.
THE PROJECT SO FAR....
Our Project Work