Project Reference C-2 – Faughan Valley Heritage Trail

The project involves the development of the Faughan Valley Heritage Trail - a long distance, multi-use route incorporating sites of archaeological, environmental and historical significance which link with, and enhances, existing local footpaths, greenways and laneways as well as other regional and national trails. It will encourage both residents and visitors to the region to explore, appreciate and enjoy the North West's greatest heritage assets - its landscapes, history, archaeology, folklore and settlements, and will provide a new regional recreation and tourism resource in the Council area.

 

Based upon the completion of a feasibility study for the project, three key themes for the Trail have emerged:
• A Journey Through Time – Neolithic to the Plantation
• Ecclesiastical Legacy
• Environment and Landscape
These are the central themes that connect and unite the Trail and the sites. They fulfill a number of criteria important to interpretation and learning, including simplicity, impact, authenticity, relevance and insight.

A Journey Through Time – Neolithic to the Plantation - This theme reinforces the authenticity, activities and events associated with human settlement and work in this part of Northern Ireland. It ensures that people gain an appreciation and understanding of the many sites associated with farming practice, belief and ritual over the past 6000 years. Furthermore, it provides a much greater appreciation of areas outstanding cultural heritage. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include the Ballygroll Complex, Enagh Lough Crannog, Fincarn Glen Motte and Bailey and Brackfield Bawn

Ecclesiastical Legacy - This theme focuses upon the Christian Heritage which has a significant presence in the area. However, as they stand, many of the sites are not suitable or of a standard acceptable to visitors due to lack of interpretation, signage and marketing. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include the Straidarran Church and Cumber Old Church

Environment and Landscape - This theme focuses upon the natural heritage and allows for widespread interpretation of local biodiversity, geology and the general natural history of the area. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include Ness and Ervey Woods, Claudy Country Park and the Foyle Foreshore

The project will therefore target 11 key sites along the Faughan Valley:

  • Ballygroll Prehistoric Complex
  • Tireighter Wedge Tomb
  • Straidarran Church
  • Cumber Old Church
  • Brackfield Bawn
  • Learmount Castle
  • Eglinton Village Plantation Site
  • Claudy Country Park
  • Learmount Forest
  • Enagh Lough
  • Ness/Ervey Woods

Key principles and components of the Trail

  • A continuous route from the North Sperrins Trail to Derry City and Inishowen
  • Comprising linked sections of shared-use, parallel, or separate, walking, cycling and/or riding routes and route options
  • Enabling driving, longer distance and multi-day walks, cycling trips or horse rides, and more local day/part-day trips - by local and regional residents and visitors
  • Linking to other regional and national trails - for example, the Ulster Way, NCN Cycle routes and the North Sperrins Way
  • Linking to circular routes - for use on foot, cycle or horseback, in the vicinity of key venues and settlements
  • Encouraging use by local residents, day visitors and tourists
    • A socially-inclusive route - catering for families, elderly people, people with disabilities, and for those from disadvantaged communities, insofar as is practical
    • A ’showcase’ for the natural, cultural and built heritage of the North West’s Faughan corridor and village settlements, through interpretation of sites, features and ‘stories’ of interest
    • Offering opportunities for ‘greening’ the Trail corridor - through environmental regeneration and enhancement projects
  • Contributing to the regeneration of villages
  • Providing a regional park-type resource - comprising a recreational ‘corridor’ along/in the vicinity of the Faughan Valley and an important component of, and ‘feeder’ route into, the Sperrins, Derry City and Donegal
  • Generating income, employment and economic development and diversification opportunities for the communities through which it passes
  • Promoting healthy exercise in attractive surroundings.

The project involves the development of the Faughan Valley Heritage Trail - a long distance, multi-use route incorporating sites of archaeological, environmental and historical significance which link with, and enhances, existing local footpaths, greenways and laneways as well as other regional and national trails. It will encourage both residents and visitors to the region to explore, appreciate and enjoy the North West's greatest heritage assets - its landscapes, history, archaeology, folklore and settlements, and will provide a new regional recreation and tourism resource in the Council area.

 

Based upon the completion of a feasibility study for the project, three key themes for the Trail have emerged:
• A Journey Through Time – Neolithic to the Plantation
• Ecclesiastical Legacy
• Environment and Landscape
These are the central themes that connect and unite the Trail and the sites. They fulfill a number of criteria important to interpretation and learning, including simplicity, impact, authenticity, relevance and insight.

A Journey Through Time – Neolithic to the Plantation - This theme reinforces the authenticity, activities and events associated with human settlement and work in this part of Northern Ireland. It ensures that people gain an appreciation and understanding of the many sites associated with farming practice, belief and ritual over the past 6000 years. Furthermore, it provides a much greater appreciation of areas outstanding cultural heritage. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include the Ballygroll Complex, Enagh Lough Crannog, Fincarn Glen Motte and Bailey and Brackfield Bawn

Ecclesiastical Legacy - This theme focuses upon the Christian Heritage which has a significant presence in the area. However, as they stand, many of the sites are not suitable or of a standard acceptable to visitors due to lack of interpretation, signage and marketing. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include the Straidarran Church and Cumber Old Church

Environment and Landscape - This theme focuses upon the natural heritage and allows for widespread interpretation of local biodiversity, geology and the general natural history of the area. Examples of sites that could be associated with this theme include Ness and Ervey Woods, Claudy Country Park and the Foyle Foreshore

The project will therefore target 11 key sites along the Faughan Valley:

  • Ballygroll Prehistoric Complex
  • Tireighter Wedge Tomb
  • Straidarran Church
  • Cumber Old Church
  • Brackfield Bawn
  • Learmount Castle
  • Eglinton Village Plantation Site
  • Claudy Country Park
  • Learmount Forest
  • Enagh Lough
  • Ness/Ervey Woods

Key principles and components of the Trail

  • A continuous route from the North Sperrins Trail to Derry City and Inishowen
  • Comprising linked sections of shared-use, parallel, or separate, walking, cycling and/or riding routes and route options
  • Enabling driving, longer distance and multi-day walks, cycling trips or horse rides, and more local day/part-day trips - by local and regional residents and visitors
  • Linking to other regional and national trails - for example, the Ulster Way, NCN Cycle routes and the North Sperrins Way
  • Linking to circular routes - for use on foot, cycle or horseback, in the vicinity of key venues and settlements
  • Encouraging use by local residents, day visitors and tourists
    • A socially-inclusive route - catering for families, elderly people, people with disabilities, and for those from disadvantaged communities, insofar as is practical
    • A ’showcase’ for the natural, cultural and built heritage of the North West’s Faughan corridor and village settlements, through interpretation of sites, features and ‘stories’ of interest
    • Offering opportunities for ‘greening’ the Trail corridor - through environmental regeneration and enhancement projects
  • Contributing to the regeneration of villages
  • Providing a regional park-type resource - comprising a recreational ‘corridor’ along/in the vicinity of the Faughan Valley and an important component of, and ‘feeder’ route into, the Sperrins, Derry City and Donegal
  • Generating income, employment and economic development and diversification opportunities for the communities through which it passes
  • Promoting healthy exercise in attractive surroundings.