The Dark Hedges - we need YOUR vote!

FINAL. Social Development Minister Meryvn Storey along with Carole O'Kane from Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust on Friday with pupils Amy (St Olcan's), William (Armoy) and Emily (Bushvalley).INBM26-15 050SC.
FINAL. Social Development Minister Meryvn Storey along with Carole O'Kane from Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust on Friday with pupils Amy (St Olcan's), William (Armoy) and Emily (Bushvalley).INBM26-15 050SC.

The Dark Hedges project is through to the finals of this year’s National Lottery Awards and needs your vote to win.

The Awards are an annual search to find the UK’s favourite Lottery-funded projects, and they recognise and celebrate the difference that Lottery-funded projects make to communities across the UK.

The National Lottery Awards have seven categories - each reflecting an area of Lottery funding: Sport; Heritage; Arts; Environment; Health; Education; and Voluntary/Charity. The Dark Hedges project is one of only seven projects to make it through to the finals in the Best Environment Project category.

Carole O’Kane from the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust commented: We have worked in partnership with the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust and The Woodland Trust to develop the Dark Hedges conservation project and we are delighted to reach the finals of the National Lottery Awards.

“The Dark Hedges is an avenue of beech trees planted by the Stuart family in the 18th century leading up to the entrance of their estate, Gracehill, in Ballymoney. National Lottery funding has helped the partnership to preserve, enhance and promote the site for future generations.

“Many will recognise the iconic location which is used in Game of Thrones and we would appeal to everyone to vote for us and help secure further recognition for this fantastic project.

The winning project in each category will receive national recognition on a star-studded BBC One TV show in early September and, in addition to the Lottery funding they have already received, will receive a £2,000 cash prize to spend on their project.

“Since the start of the project in April 2013, the site has been visited by pupils from three local primary schools. As well as learning about the history of the grounds and ecology and environmental issues, they took part in a seed harvesting and planting project using seed stock from existing trees. With future funding we can endeavour to preserve the trees for future generations, conserve and enhance the site with low visual impact, encourage new plants and raise awareness of the importance of protecting and maintaining the ecology of the Dark Hedges site.”

Voting for the finals starts at 9am on June 24th and ends at midnight on July 29th. To register your vote for the Dark Hedges call 0844 836 9678 or log on to www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards

For further information please contact: Carole o’Kane at the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust info@ccght.org or 028 2075 2100