Whoa! Averaging 66,000 Unique Weekly Readers! 

NI News

Star-gazers’ dream project almost complete

2 Mins read
BT Coleraine

An out-of-this-world project is nearing completion and will make Northern Ireland a world-class destination for constellation and planet seekers from around the globe.

Rural Affairs Minister Edwin Poots was speaking after he visited the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory – a jointly funded project between the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and Mid Ulster Council.

The Observatory is located deep in the Davagh Forest, where there is so little light pollution, it boasts one of the darkest skies in Ireland – making the stars and planets more visible when the conditions are right.

Mnister Poots said: “This is an exciting and truly unique project that will attract star-gazers from all over the world to seek out constellations and planets in super high-quality and using the latest technology. My Department allocated £500,000 towards the OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory, through the Rural Tourism Scheme which provides funding to invest tourism products that act as a key driver for encouraging rural tourism and out of state visitors.

“This project will appeal to the curious mind and those who want to explore what lies beyond the stars and what the eye can see. The centre piece of the observatory is a star-gazing telescope which, during special events, will provide the opportunity to view the night sky without light pollution. When opened the centre will increase visitor numbers to the Sperrins and bring an economic boost for the area. I am very happy that my Department was able to fund such an exciting initiative.”

Davagh Forest lies approximately 10 miles north of Cookstown and covers 1,500 hectares. It is sited close to the ancient Beaghmore Stone Circles, at the foot of the Sperrin Mountains and in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Chair of the Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, welcomed Minister Poots to the facility. Councillor Mallaghan said: “Funding through the Rural Tourism Scheme has contributed enormously to the Council’s investment in creating what can only be described as a unique facility which showcases the amazingly dark skies at Davagh. I was pleased to welcome the Minister to OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory for a preview tour ahead of our opening this autumn and to experience first-hand what his Department’s financial support has helped to realise.”

The OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory is part of a 3 phase development at the site and the Council has also been successful in receiving further funding of £880,837 from the Rural Tourism Scheme towards the “Davagh Outdoor experience” and ‘Walking’ trails.

11357 posts

About author
An article that is attributed to the Causeway Coast Community Team has either involved multiple authors, written by a contributor or the main body of content is from a press release. Got a news-related tip you’d like to see covered on Causeway Coast Community? Email us - [email protected]
Articles
Related posts
NI News

Road Safety Week – There’s no need to speed

3 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppInfrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today urged drivers and riders to slow down and reduce their speed on the road. Minister Mallon…
NI News

‘We will weather this out’ – Chief Medical Officer

2 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppChief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride is urging everyone to look after their mental health and wellbeing this winter, while also reminding…
NI News

Avian Influenza detected in wild swan

2 Mins read
FacebookTwitterPinterestWhatsAppThe Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has confirmed that a wild swan found dead at Lough Beg, Co. Londonderry has…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *