Links to Facebook posts over the years of this huge project show us working with a wide range of community partners over many years to deliver this project. This dune system had entirely vanished owing to pressure from Quads, motor bikes and uncontrolled access over the dunes. The videos show before and after respectively, of the restored area.
Our Key partners in funding the project were Ballyhornan Development Association (BDA), ourselves, the Department of Environment and Newry Mourne and Down District Council. The project manager throughout was Cadogan Enright who organised training.
Community Groups that helped with planting included ourselves, BDA, Lecale Scouts who run a regional centre in Ballyhornan and can deliver 100’s of volunteers with youth leaders, the association of residents’ associations called “Downpatrick Community Collective”
The environmental charity True Harvest which is authorised by Council and DEARA to collect and propagate native plants on public lands grew thousands of plants over the 8 years so far of the project.
We were lucky that a specialist local company NFL Natural Sea Defences – the only one in NI – They have training on how to fence storm-proof sand-traps made of split chestnut palings for long-lasting fencing. It is more of an art than a skill. Having the right materials meant we avoided far greater losses to storms in the early years of the project. As the sand-dunes grow they become invulnerable to storms if the front edges are protected from human pressure.