The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust board is currently made up of 14 directors.
Having retired from running a post-primary school I am now immersed in what was formerly a hobby, namely farming. I have always been interested in the countryside. Nearly all of the landscape in N.I. is man-made; even the ‘non-farmed’ parts have at some time in the past been heavily influenced by human activity. Spring and summer are my favourite seasons, I still marvel at the ‘transformation’ which can be seen everywhere in the spring. The countryside emerges from winter and is reborn with fresh enthusiasm for another growing season.
My favourite view is looking west towards Portrush from the conservatory of the Causeway School Museum. One can enjoy both seascape and landscape from this vantage point.
It is a privilege to live in this landscape with its marvellous views, its unpredictable weather patterns and the fact that each season is very distinctive. This and the rich cultural heritage of our people make Northern Ireland one of the really special places in Western Europe. It is a unique combination that needs to be both preserved and developed.
I would like to think that the Causeway Coast & Glens area in 20 years’ time will have retained its natural unspoilt appearance, have a range of employment opportunities for its young people who will, if they choose, be able to live in vibrant local communities and appreciate their environment.
Roy was elected to Larne Borough Council in 1997. Served as Mayor 2004/5. He is a qualified teacher of Mathematics but also has many years’ experience as a publican. Now semi-retired his interests include bowls, both indoor and outdoor, cars, reading historical and crime novels, and horse-racing. One of his favourite sites in the locality is Cranny Falls, where he enjoys the quiet walk and splendid views across Carnlough Bay. The leisurely walk, taking little more than an hour, follows the old mineral path from the picturesque harbour in Carnlough up to Cranny Waterfall in Gortin Quarry. Roy is looking forward to the restoration of the Gobbins path and the busloads of tourists that will arrive and stay in the area to experience nearly three miles of heart-stopping paths, bridges and tunnels along the magnificent Gobbins cliffs, just a few feet above the waves of the Irish Sea, an amazing testament to the Victorian entrepreneurial spirit.
Roy’s vision for the future of the area is that the Trust and other stakeholders involved in protected area management will be congratulated on the way they have managed the Causeway Coast & Glens area and that the evidence of their work and dedication is apparent in the landscape.
Sam is a member of the RSPB and has had a lifelong passion for conservation and wildlife especially in the Causeway Coast and Glens Area. Elected to Coleraine Borough Council in 2005 and re-elected in 2011 Sam has previously served for many years on the Lower Bann Advisory Committee and Sperrin Tourism Ltd. He is also a member of the Binevenagh AONB Committee and several Community Associations. He sits on the Boards of LibrariesNI and NEELB and currently chairs the CBC Leisure and Environment Committee. Sam is a keen angler and flytier and fishes for salmon and trout on the Agivey River within casting distance of his country home at Ballyagan, Garvagh. When the summer rains start falling and the salmon are running Sam develops what is widely known as salmon fever. This may explain apologies being forwarded to some committee meetings on wet summer days! He is married to Ann and has two daughters Sandra who lives in Edinburgh and Cheryl currently at Newcastle University. Sam has therefore a base in England and Scotland where he visits regularly during holiday periods including spending some weekends in the lovely Isle of Skye. He is a keen wildlife gardener and has turned his small holding into a bird, bee and butterfly sanctuary.
Sam would love to see the CC and Glens Area becoming a Mecca for tourism and given a National Park status to manage preserve and market the landscape and seascape to its full potential. “Tourists will flock to the area in greater numbers to take part in sporting activities and to experience the welcoming warmth of the local people, the breath-taking scenery and the wealth of flora and fauna that flourish in the area”.
Alderman Hubert Nicholl has been a member of Ballymena Borough Council for over 25 years. He has also served three years as Mayor of the Borough.
Hubert’s environmental experience and environmental management has been gained from being a farmer for over 50 years, managing a dairy farm. He also serves as Vice-Chairman of Northern Ireland Drainage Council which includes great involvement in environmental issues.
Hubert is Chair of ARC 21 Joint Committee for Waste Management involving eleven councils which are obviously involved in environmental matters. Other appointments Alderman Hubert Nicholl serves are: Vice Chair of Northern Ireland Library Board and Northern Ireland Chair of the Association for Public Service Excellence as well as serving on The National Council of A.P.S.E.
Resident for 36 years in the same house in Castlerock, looking out onto the Atlantic, I am proud to be Chair of Binevenagh AONB, which provides the immensely rich hinterland to match the majestic shoreline. I also chair Castlerock Community Association, currently making great strides in terms of village renewal and refurbishment, with its spanking new Information and Tourist Centre, in a prime location at the hub of our AONB gateway village. Archaeology and local history are abiding passions, Bishop Hervey and his wonderful Downhill Castle my favourites. The Mussenden Temple bathed in a fiery sunset is every bit as evocative for me as the Temple of Sounion on its stunning Greek headland. A secret ambition is to sit up on the box of the Bishop’s coach one day, rattling down the Bishop’s Road, in sight of Downhill Demesne and blowing the horn, so that the cooks would know to put the ‘taties on for dinner.
A partly-restored Castle should have its tasteful tearoom and shop, to tempt visitors to loiter and linger, remembering that Europe’s finest once flocked here to admire an amazing collection of some of the finest paintings and statues to be seen anywhere in Europe, and majestic, verdant Binevenagh looked on then just as it does now.
Graham joined the Board of CCGHT in June 2013, six months after his retirement from the Department of the Environment. He spent the bulk of his working career in the NI Environment Agency and its predecessors. Graham joined in 1987 and his early responsibilities included the development of policies and management proposals for AONBs, the promotion of access to the countryside and administration of natural heritage grants. He finished his career as Director of Natural Heritage and was responsible for managing a budget in the region of £9 million and a manpower resource of around 180 staff. Throughout his time in the Department he took a great interest in CCGHT and other bodies that had been set up to manage our special landscape areas.
Graham has a great love of the countryside and has walked extensively in the Glens of Antrim and along the North Coast. He is passionate about rambling and hill walking and he is currently Chair of the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs and Chair of the National Outdoor Recreation Forum appointed by Sport NI. Graham would like to see more opportunities for access to the country side as he believes it is good for our physical and mental well being.
George has been a resident in the area of Armoy all his life, where he has farmed part-time and now full-time. George has worked for thirty years in the further education sector as a Lecturer and the last ten years as an Administration Manager and Member of The Corporate Management Team at North East Institute.
George is a past President of Loughgiel Credit Union and a member of Ballycastle Rotary Club. He has been a member of the North Antrim Branch of Ulster Farmers Union for over 30 years and served on the Central Policy Legislative Committee for the union. He is now a serving member on the Hill Farming Committee and a member of the AFBI Beef Committee.