Management Plan aims to reach new heights for Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

24th May 2024

Sperrin AONB management plan Fermanagh and Omagh (1)
The Sperrins Partnership, a cross council led project including Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, has announced details for the development of the first Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan. The plan is an extension of work conducted through the Sperrins Future Search initiative in 2017 Reaching New Heights, Realising Our Potential.
The plan will be developed by Sperrins Partnership in consultation with all key partners on behalf of Northern Ireland Environment Agency, an agency within the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) who are also the project funder. It will also place local communities at the centre of its development.

The aim of the plan is to provide guidance on a shared vision for safeguarding and caring for the Sperrins.  It will outline strategies, priorities and mechanisms for protecting, promoting and enhancing the special features of the landscape, related heritage and culture as well as boost nature recovery. A guideline framework for action will recognise and support efforts of partners in line with their own remits and resources.
It will also help guide efforts to conserve, enhance, and support, the special character of Sperrin AONB and its natural, built, and cultural heritage.  The plan will seek support for local communities to benefit from the AONB, while championing long term sustainability and conservation efforts.
An extensive consultation exercise is underway, and a number of public events will take place across council areas throughout May and June. Key stakeholders and local communities are encouraged to take part and share their views on the development of the plan.
Sperrin AONB is one of eight AONB across Northern Ireland that was first designated in 1968 and to date has not benefitted from a management plan unlike the other AONB across the region.
Chair of Sperrins Partnership, Councillor Sean Clarke, said:
“This will be the first management plan for the Sperrins following 56 years since it was originally designated by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) as a special landscape, back in 1968. The management plan will be developed on behalf of DAERA and Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) through extensive consultation with key stakeholders and local communities with the aim to identify the issues facing the area’s exceptional natural environment, and to help ensure that everyone who lives, works or visits can learn from and enjoy the place sustainably.”
Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Thomas O’Reilly, commented:
“The Sperrins is an area of unspoiled beauty. This management plan will serve as a catalyst to drive rural sustainable tourism, attract investment, and preserve our local natural and built heritage.”
For further information or to get involved in the development of the Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Management Plan visit