Council launches Killyfole Lough Water Recreation Project

20th June 2023

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Killyfole Lough Launch (1)

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council officially launched the Killyfole Lough Water Recreation Project on Wednesday 14 June 2023 following significant improvement works which seen a total investment of over £800,000.

The works, which were funded by the Council with support from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs’ Challenge Fund and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, included the replacement of five bridges, four boardwalks and path improvements. The funding also supported the development and installation of a suite of signage and nature trail interpretation panels, the refurbishment of the outdoor classroom at the adjacent ‘secret garden’ and the development of a school education programme to promote knowledge of the rich biodiversity around the lough.

Speaking about the project, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, said:

“As Chair and an Erne East Councillor, I am delighted to see the completion of these significant works at Killyfole. They have really enhanced this important amenity in the Erne East area.

I am confident that these improvements will attract many more residents and visitors alike to this already popular, beautiful open space. The outdoor classroom will be a key asset for our local schools providing an opportunity for our children and young people to learn about the rich biodiversity and heritage of the area.

The Council is committed to ensuring that our natural environment and built heritage is cherished, sustainably managed and accessible and this project will ensure that the environment and heritage of Killyfole will be protected and enjoyed by many.”

Liam Donnelly, Northern Ireland Environmental Agency Client Officer, said:

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to visit this Local Nature Reserve, to see the accessibility enhancements that will facilitate more enjoyment of the habitats and wildlife around and in this Lough.

I congratulate the Council and everyone involved for renewing and improving the site. The Northern Ireland Environment Agency is pleased to have provided investment of nearly £100,000 to support the project through the Environmental Challenge Fund.

We hope that the opportunities at Killyfole Lough will enable more people to connect to the natural environment and enjoy watching herons and people fishing, while damselflies dart by.

I encourage everyone to find ways to increase the understanding and appreciation of our environment and support the continued development of outdoor recreation opportunities which provide also provide many health and well-being benefits for users.”

Minister Dehenna Davison MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Levelling Up stated:

“It is immensely important that people can take pride in the place they live and have improved access to green spaces across Northern Ireland. That is why the UK Government’s contribution from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund towards the project at Killyfole Lough, including refurbished walkways and a suite of signage and nature trail interpretation, will benefit not just local people but all those who visit from far and wide for years to come.”

The works at Killyfole Lough support the Council’s Biodiversity Strategy 2022-2027 by ensuring that areas such as Killyfole Lough are protected, maintained, enhanced, restored and promoted.