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LELP celebrates with young people at John Muir Award Ceremony

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The Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP) are the first organisation in Fermanagh to be accredited as a provider for the John Muir Award scheme. The Award encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured yet adaptable scheme, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

LELP, in partnership with the National Trust (Crom Estate) and Extern Group (Erne Youth Support) has been delivering two bespoke schemes over the past few months with 30 young people from around Co. Fermanagh to complete their John Muir Award. Two locations were used for these inaugural schemes, one being the Crom Estate outside Lisnaskea and the other Lough Avilly, near Enniskillen.   The schemes were delivered through funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Hope for Youth NI and the DAERA Environmental Challenge Fund and in partnership with several local organisations including the Belleek Mens Shed and the Erne Paddlers.

The first of these John Muir Award events was held over five days at Lough Avilly where nine young people from Extern’s Group (Erne Youth Support) with the support of their leaders took part in a range of environmental activities from tree planting, invasive species removal, building bird and bat boxes and learning about waste and its effects on the environment.

The second scheme was held at Crom Estate with 21 young people and eight leaders from three different Scout groups taking part. These young people and their leaders carried out a range of important biodiversity and sustainability activities from removing Brash and clearing the litter on land and in water. They also completed their Leave No Trace Certified Awareness course. The young people also learnt about the rich wildlife and habitats that Crom has to offer.

On Saturday 20th May 2023, LELP hosted a celebration event for the two groups of young people, commending their dedication to the conservation of the local Fermanagh environment. Throughout this project, these young people have learned the importance of Biodiversity and how it allows us to live healthy and happy lives. In return, they have been able to give nature a helping hand.

As part of the celebration event, the young people spent the morning at Share Discovery Village in Lisnaskea trying out various water activities and exploring the beautiful surrounds of Lough Erne. They were then treated to a lunch at Crom Estate, receiving a personal message of congratulations via video message by Dara McAnulty, the award-winning author and naturalist who grew up in Fermanagh.

Every participant received their John Muir certificate as well as a backpack filled with resources that will enable them to continue to discover the landscapes of Lough Erne.