This year the UK and Ireland Lakes Network held its annual conference in the Seamus Heaney Centre in Bellaghy. The Network’s purpose is to share knowledge and best practice involved in the management of our great lakes such as Loch Lomond, or Lake Windemere.
The focus this year was on our own great Lake, Lough Neagh. In the past the main themes of the conferences have been very science orientated with themes such as the management of important habitats and the reduction of poor water quality. However, this year the theme was on how people connect to lakes through culture, heritage, health and well being. A number of speakers gave talks on a variety of topics ranging from Crannogs on Lough Neagh, the myths and cultural heritage of Lough Neagh to the improvement of peoples health through interacting with water in both Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.
Gerry Darby the manager of the Lough Neagh Partnership and chair of the network remarked:
“The conference highlighted how important water and lakes are our cultural legacy and in particular highlighted the important cultural and spiritual connections which people have with our biggest waterway system , Lough Neagh”.