a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z #


A Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Plan for Strangford and Lecale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area

In October 2017, Outdoor Recreation NI (ORNI) was commissioned by Strangford Lough and LecalePartnership to develop -‘A Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Plan for the Strangford and Lecale Area of Outstanding NaturalBeauty (AONB) and Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area (MPA)’.

Funding for the project was provided from both Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs - Northern Ireland Environment Agency and Sport Northern Ireland. In addition to these organisations the project steering group was comprised of representatives of Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs – Marine and Fisheries Division, Newry, Mourne And DownDistrict Council and Ards and North Down Borough Council.The study area covers the Strangford and Lecale AONB including the Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area. The area measures approximately 52,553 hectares and is located within the jurisdiction of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Ards and North Down Borough Council. A large part of the area is water, hence, recreation on or close to the water is a key focus of this report.

 Full document and separate Executive Summary can be downloaded here:-

An audit of access to Strangford Lough for water-based recreation

Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership, on behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Ards and North Down Borough Council commissioned Outdoor Recreation NI to complete 'An Audit of Access to Strangford Lough for Water-based Recreation' May 2018.

This included:- 

  • an audit of current and potential access to the lough for water-based recreation
  • site based recommendations relevant to potential development of sustainable water-based recreation
  • strategic recommendations relevant to the holistic development and management of sustainable water-based recreation


Householder Awareness Improving Water Quality in your local area

Advice from NIEA on raising household awareness to improving water quality in your local area, which includes NIEA free phone hotline 24hr number for reporting urgent water pollution incidents in confidence and an email address for other incidents that do not require immediate attention


Sport NI Report Skiffie Worlds 2016

Report on Skiffie Worlds that took place in the Quoile estuary July 2016

Mourne & Strangford Lough Coastal Walking Path Technical and Feasibility Study August 2015

The aim of this study was to 'Assess the feasibility of developing a coastal walking path between Greencastle and Portavogie identifying tourism and development opportunities that will enhance the visitor experience along the way by creating unique attractions and experiences'.


Strangford Lough is not a static system, but is subject to natural change both in terms of its biological communities and its geomorphology.  The conservation objectives are designed to accommodate the dynamic nature of the site.  In overall terms, Strangford Lough was deemed to be in Favourable Condition at the time of its designation.  This does not rule out setting targets that will enhance the condition of any feature or sub-feature.

County Down Seafood - August 2015

This report was produced by tourism specalists BTS, supported by fish industry experts Poseidon Consulting.  It is a market based business plan, commissioned by Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership (SLLP), with funding from the EU and the South East Area Fisheries Local Action Group (SEAFLAG), to provide economic benefit to the South East Area which includes the fishing ports Portavogie, Ardglass, and Kilkeel.

The analysis is designed to help develop the local market for locally caught seafood and local quality agricultural produce within the area.  The project examines the opportunities, for food tourism in the Strangford Lough and Mourne Mountain destination, building on the concentration of the Northern Ireland fishing industry in the area, the quality of other local food produce and the number and the quality of local eating places across the area.


The establishment of kelp grids for seaweed cultivation in the 18th Century marks the first aquaculture activity in Strangford Lough. Seaweed cultivation and harvesting for soda production probably continued for over 100 years until its demise in the 1830s when it became uneconomic (McErlean 2002). This period probably represents the greatest impact on the intertidal areas of the Lough in recorded history. Experimental studies into the growth of the oysters Crassostrea gigas and Ostrea edulis by Parsons (1974) and Briggs (1978) demonstrated the suitability of Strangford Lough for oyster culture and stimulated its development in the Lough. Consequently, aquaculture in the Lough, which started in the 1970s with a few producers, focused initially on oysters (Figure 1). For example, Cuan Oysters, which was established in 1974, played an important role in the development of aquaculture in the UK by pioneering culture methods for very small hatchery-reared oyster seed. Cuan Oysters is currently the major producer of oysters in Strangford Lough, and one of the main producers in the UK, handling over 400 tonnes of oysters per annum (http://www.cuanoysters.com/seafood/index.html). Aquaculture in Strangford Lough continues to focus entirely on bivalves but now includes mussels and scallops as well as Pacific and native oysters. This section reviews the development of aquaculture since the 1970s in the context of recent ecological changes and the Shellfish Aquaculture

Strangford Lough SAC / SPA Management Scheme, Environment and Heritage Service, May 2001

People have inhabited the shores of Strangford Lough and used its resources for 9000 years. Today local people continue to play a very important role in shaping and managing the area. The past 20 years, however, have witnessed some dramatic changes in terms of the area’s socio-economic development. This is partly because Strangford Lough, one of the most important environmental sites in Europe, is not a remote wilderness but lies within an hour’s drive of Belfast city centre.

Common Seal Research and Management SLMC Report July 1999

This report outlines the Strangford Lough Management Committee's recommendations to Government with regard to common seals as part of its ongoing role to advise on the strategic management of Strangford Lough. In June 1998 the Strangford Lough Management Committee formed a working group to address concerns over the decline in the common seal (Phoca vitulina) population of Strangford Lough since the late 80’s. The Common Seal Research and Management Working Group was asked to produce a report which would give an overview of the status of common seals in the Lough, examine concerns raised in some detail and if appropriate, make recommendations for a programme of action to address the situation.

Report on the Management of Shore-Based Periwinkle Collection on Strangford Lough and the Lecale Coast

This Report was commissioned by the Advisory Committee of the Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership. It was researched and produced by Clear Direction who are responsible for its content. March 2013


A copy of this report is available in the SLLP office in Portaferry.

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