#LoveMourne - Provide adequate funding for the Mourne AONB
This petition was opened in April 2015 because Mourne Heritage Trust needed help in communicating to policy makers how much the Mourne Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - and its care - was valued.
A letter from the Department of the Environment had brought news that funding from Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) would cease from 30th June 2015. Not only was the AONB designation made by government but the Agency established Mourne Heritage Trust in 1997 to meet an identified need for locally based management. While we appreciated the difficult public funding situation our government was in, we were astonished it would propose to depart our very successful partnership at a time when recreation in and appreciation of the Mournes has never been more popular. As well as containing some of Northern Ireland and Europe's most valuable and sensitive habitats, the Mourne mountains and surrounding countryside and coast represent an asset for tourism, recreation, education, health and well-being and a range of 'eco-system' goods and services.
Thankfully the response from government to the many and eloquent expressions of support saw a fund established to provide resources for the remainder of the 2015/16 financial year to environmental bodies across Northern Ireland . And in late March 2016 a substantial funding award was made for the 2016/17 year. With this degree of stability we look forward to working with government to provide appropriate medium to long term arrangements for care of this special landscape.
Accordingly, we are leaving this petition page open for further people to express why they #LoveMourne and why they wish to see it cared for. Please do sign the petition and share your thoughts.
If you would like to read up about the work we do visit www.mournelive.com
- Minister for the Environment
- Permanent Secretary (Department of the Environment)
Provide adequate funding for the Mourne AONB
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