The Coleraine Times today backs a Coleraine Rotary Club campaign which could result in Mountsandel becoming a World Heritage Site.
Plans are underway for a far-reaching awareness campaign to highlight Mountandel’s unique place in our history.
Exacavations by Professor Peter Woodman and a team of archaeologists in the 1970s uncovered evidence of a Mesolithic - Middle Stone Age - settlement dating back to 7,600-7900BC, the earliest known settlement anywhere in Ireland.
Now the Rotary Club - led by president Liam Hickey - has launched an “Our History Starts Here” project which will include:
* The preservation and development of Mountsandel, the Bann Estuary and Cutts as sites of huge historical significance;
* The development of a cross-stakeholder project team to exploit and promote the Mountsandel area as a beacon for tourism and economic opportunity;
* The development of a Visitors Interpretative Centre in Coleraine highlighting Mountsandel’s unique story;
* An awareness campaign with schools and the community to promote knowledge, interest and pride in Mountsandel;
* UNESCO recognition of Mountsandel as a World Heritage Site like the Giant’s Causeway, Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, the Acropolis in Greece and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
* The launch of an annual festival to celebrate the Mountsandel story.
Rotary’s public awareness campaign will begin with a Public Meeting at Coleraine Rugby Club on Wednesday, February 17 at 7.30pm when Prof Woodman will be the special guest. Turn to page 14-15 to read our exclusive report on one of the most important heritage initiatves ever launched in the borough.