Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has appointed main contractor M&I Contracts to complete significant improvement works at Killyfole Lough, between Lisnaskea and Rosslea.
Killyfole Lough is a freshwater Lough, with a rich biodiversity and evidence of early settlement linked to the Crannóg in the centre of the lough, and which is believed to date back to medieval times.
The works, funded by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, are designed to enhance the local nature reserve and demonstrate the Council’s commitment to protect its natural features and ensure the facility is accessible to all visitors.
The proposed works, scheduled to commence during the week beginning 31 October 2022, include the replacement of 4 bridges and 4 boardwalks with low maintenance materials and existing boundary fencing will also be replaced.
Speaking about the enhancement works, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, said:
“It is great news that improvement works are being undertaken at Killyfole Lough. They will greatly enhance this important amenity in the Erne East area of the District.
The works will improve the walkways and the surrounding area providing residents and visitors with a safe space and place to explore and enjoy the outdoors. They will also enhance local people’s appreciation about local habitats and wildlife.
The Council is committed to ensuring that our outstanding natural environment and built heritage is sustainably managed and, where possible, enhanced. These works will ensure that the natural environment at Killyfole Lough will be protected and enhanced.”
Marty McGrory, Director of M&I Contracts stated:
“We are delighted to be working on this project with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. We recognise this amenity is of great value to the local community and provides safe and accessible walking, allowing communities to connect with each other and enhance their lives. Being a local myself and a regular user of this facility I understand why it is one of the most visited sites in Northern Ireland, providing a healthier lifestyle, whilst offering an appreciation of the native habitat and biodiversity.
We hope that the upgrading of this facility, with its improved boardwalks and bridges, will inspire even more people to get walking and enjoy what Killyfole has to offer”
Further environmental improvement works have been made possible through funding granted by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) Challenge Fund. Grant funded elements include the development of a management plan for Killyfole Lough, the redevelopment of a ‘Secret Garden’ and the provision of signage for both Killyfole Lough and the Secret Garden. Works to the Secret Garden will see the revitalisation of an outdoor classroom for those of all ages to learn more about the natural habitats and wildlife in the area, including terrestrial and aquatic species. The signage will also be inclusive for those with disabilities ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to explore, learn about and enjoy this beautiful space.
Environment Minister, Edwin Poots said:
“I am pleased to commit £98,700 from the Environmental Challenge Competition towards the development of these recreational facilities to allow people of all abilities and ages to connect with our natural environment and enjoy our living, working, active landscape across Northern Ireland.
These facilities will provide an opportunity for local residents and the wider community to learn more about the variety of natural habitats and wildlife in the area and ensure people have the chance to participate in outdoor recreation and physical activity in a natural wildlife setting to improve their health and wellbeing.”
The works are scheduled to be completed in March 2023. During completion of the works, the looped walking route will be restricted; however, linear walking routes will remain accessible.