Project Details: Feasibility Study – Exploring the landscape of the young Seamus Heaney
An interpretive centre will open in 2016 in Bellaghy, and Mid-Ulster Council wished to explore the potential for visitor access to the surrounding landscape that
inspired the young Seamus Heaney and which resonate throughout his body of work. Working with Belfast-based consultancy, Oli, Deirdre Black Associates undertook an initial audit of potential locations. Sites were appraised in relation to literary relevance, access and connectivity, land ownership, rights of way, terrain, visitor experience and resource protection, potential for mitigation of impact, planning, community context and forces for landscape change. Following site work and consultation, a shortlist of sites was prepared and concept masterplans were drawn up for eighteen locations – taking a minimalist approach to physical interventions. Land stewardship recommendations were prepared to maximise local socio-economic gains.