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Fermanagh and Omagh

Council to Host Series of 5 Online Funding Cafés

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will host a series of online “Funding Cafes” for community and voluntary sector groups and individuals throughout the months of April and May.

Speaking about the Funding Café series, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Diana Armstrong said;

“We are fortunate to have such a vibrant community and voluntary sector within our Council area and we have witnessed their true value in the last year in the midst of a global pandemic. Funding and support are vital keys to their success. As such, facilitating these Funding Cafes represents an opportunity to continue to support them in their work.

The Funding Cafes will enable members of local community and voluntary sector groups and, where funding streams are relevant, individuals, to hear from representatives from various funding and advice agencies and I would encourage representatives of the sector and individuals to tune in to this series to find out about the various supports, networks and opportunities available to them.”

Heritage Projects

The first event in the series will take place on Tuesday 13 April 21 commencing at 7.30 pm and will focus on funding available through the National Lottery for 2021/22 for Heritage projects which covers all aspects from built heritage to habitat improvements, cultural programmes and much more.

National Churches Trust

Tuesday 20 April will see an overview of the National Churches Trust which will cover the availability of funding up to a maximum of £10,000 for initiatives specifically for this sector in Northern Ireland. Funding is available for church/chapel repairs and other church related programmes.

Sport NI

An update on the various funding streams available through Sport NI will be covered by the Funding Café on Thursday 22 April. This is sure to be a popular seminar.

Arts Council

The Funding Café taking place on Tuesday 27 April will deal with funding for groups and individuals which is available through the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. This will highlight funding opportunities for organisations and individuals working within the arts and cultural sector.

National Lottery

The final Funding Café in the series will take place on Tuesday 11 May and will cover the three principal funding streams available from the National Lottery with grants available from £500 to large scale projects requiring significant funding.

Each of the funding cafes will be facilitated by experts in the streams being covered on each night.

Booking is essential for all funding cafes. To book a place on any of the funding cafes, please either click on this link or contact the Community Support Team by telephone on 0300 303 1777, textphone 028 8225 6216 or by email at communitysupport@fermanaghomagh.com

Fermanagh and Omagh

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Pre-Booking System is a Summer Success

The car park pre-booking system, which launched in June of this year, has welcomed almost 5,000 bookings in three months.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk’s official car park has received almost 5,000 bookings within three months of launching its online booking system, theboardwalk.ie.

The booking system was created earlier this year with the aim of facilitating more effective crowd management and social distancing regulations, controlling numbers during the peak season and ensuring the safety of all staff and visitors.

With hopes of also fostering sustainable, green tourism at the popular Fermanagh landmark, the limited visitor numbers better enable the protection of the grounds and surrounding habitat by controlling the heavy footfall often experienced at the Instagram-worthy attraction. This was the original cause that led to the original construction of the boardwalk by UNESCO-endorsed Cuilcagh Lakeland Geopark, with the paths meandering through one of the largest blanket bogs in Northern Ireland.

The online bookings have come from all across the island of Ireland as people have enjoyed staycations, bank holidays and two unprecedented heatwaves this summer. While the initiative has received initial success, the bookings only represent a small percentage of walkers currently visiting the boardwalk each day and the mountain trail aims to see more visitors doing their part and pre-booking their car parking space in the months ahead.

Speaking on the success of the online system to date, local farmer, Cuilcagh landowner and car park operator, John Sheridan commented:

“This online system marked an important first step in the long-term redevelopment plans for Cuilcagh Boardwalk, and the number of online bookings to date indicates that we are successfully engaging with and encouraging walkers to be more environmentally conscious during their visit.

With that said, our work is not done. We want to encourage 100% visitors to pre-book their car parking space, so that we can safely control numbers on the boardwalk each day and reduce the impact of high-volume visitor traffic.”

Cuilcagh Boardwalk is also now part of the national Leave No Trace education programme, which focuses on developing a national ethic that protects both natural and cultural heritage by minimising the environmental and social impacts of tourism on some of the country’s most popular visitor attractions.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk’s online car park booking system comes as part of early development plans for the mountain trail and is determined to remain a sustainable, environmentally mindful area for all to enjoy.

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Fermanagh and Omagh

Wild About the Workhouse Wildlife Walks in Enniskillen

Did you know there are eight species of bats in Northern Ireland or that swifts, on leaving their nest for the first time, are airborne for 2-3 years before they land for the first time!

Would you like to learn more about bats, swifts and local wildlife in Enniskillen?

If so, registration is now open to join a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk taking place around Enniskillen on Friday 2 July and Friday 23 July 2021 at 8.30 pm.

These walks, organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, are part of the Enniskillen Workhouse Project in partnership with South West College with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Enniskillen Workhouse is currently home to swifts during the spring and summer months and bats potentially all year round.

Nesting swifts and bats are both protected species, therefore, as part of the restoration of the workhouse to create a business enterprise and heritage hub, the Council is protecting and enhancing the nesting and roosting spaces that are there by following specialist guidance on construction timings, building advice and appropriate mitigation.

The walks will be on footpaths and walkways around Enniskillen town at night taking in Enniskillen Castle and Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.

To find out more and book your place on a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk, please email biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis as numbers are restricted to 15 per walk.

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