Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust Board

The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust board is currently made up of 14 directors.

Graham Seymour, Independent (Chairman)

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.

Roy Craig, Independent (Vice-Chairman)

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.

Hubert Nicholl, Independent

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.

Cllr. Margaret Ann McKillop, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
Ald Sharon McKillop, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
Cllr Oliver McMullan, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
Cllr Sandra Hunter, Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council
Ald Tommy Nicholl MBE, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council

An enterprising and altruistic individual with an outstanding record in Public Service.

Tommy has been a councillor in Ballymena Borough Council since 1981.  He twice served as Mayor of Ballymena between 2001 – 2006, and also two terms as Deputy Mayor 1989 -1990.

He has extensive experience serving on various Boards with particular expertise in the areas of Community Planning, Health & Safety and Environmental Health.

Tommy is known as a man who is prepared to take risks in the area of Community Relations, and is one of very few people in Northern Ireland to be respected by both sides of the divided community. He was responsible for “The Mayors Initiative” during his term in office, which called together key people from the Harryville district in Ballymena, during a particularly difficult time for that area. Tommy managed to bring all the Clergy together and achieved the almost impossible by bringing all factions together in the same room at the same time for the very first time.

Tommy was recognised for his untiring dedication to his community by HM Queen Elizabeth II when she awarded him the MBE in 2006 for Services to the Community.

He is at the forefront of the local government reform process and, alongside his colleagues in Carrickfergus and Larne, is working to build the new Mid and East Antrim Council.

Ald Maureen Morrow, Mid & East Antrim Borough Council
Shirley Orr, Independent
George McAuley, Ulster Farmers Union

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.

Prof Patrick McKeever, Special Advisor to the Global Geoparks Network

From 1995 – 2012, Patrick worked at the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland in Belfast where he developed the organisation’s geological heritage and tourism sector. In 2000, he took part in the inaugural meeting on Geoparks and has since undertaken many Geopark and World Heritage advisory, evaluation and revalidation missions on behalf of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). In 2006, he brought the 2nd global conference on Geoparks to the Waterfront Hall in Belfast which attracted over 300 delegates from across the world. Also in 2006 he was invited to join the UK’s Geoconservation Committee of the Geological Society and in 2007 he was invited to become a member of the World Convention on Protected Areas (WCPA). He was a member of the scientific board of the International Geoscience Programme (IGCP) on behalf of Ireland (2007-2012) and in October 2009 and October 2011 he was the official representative for Ireland to the Science Commission of the biannual UNESCO General Conference.

In 2012, Patrick moved to Paris to join UNESCO as the new Chief of Section for Earth Sciences and Geohazard Risk Reduction and as Secretary of the IGCP. While at UNESCO, Patrick directed the formalising of the relationship between the GGN and UNESCO. This has happened through the creation of the new International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme and the creation of the UNESCO’s first new site designation since the creation of the World Heritage Site label in 1972 by establishing of the designation “UNESCO Global Geopark” which happened in November 2015. Patrick drafted the statutes and operational guidelines for UNESCO Global Geoparks and has given countless keynote talks and workshops (both regional and national) on UNESCO Global Geoparks and has advised countries on every continent regarding the creation of UNESCO Global Geoparks.

Patrick left UNESCO in October 2018 to concentrate on establishing UNESCO Global Geoparks in areas of the world where there are none or few, and to encouraging deepening networking between UNESCO Global Geoparks through the Global Geoparks Network.

Max Bryant, National Trust
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