Sperrins Gateway

Grey Partridge & Old Dublin Road

The Grey Partridge and Old Dublin Road project are within Programme A which aims to conserve built and natural heritage features.

The Megargy and District Game and Conservation Society  are working with the Sperrins Gateway Landscape Partnership to maintain the natural existing ancient woodlands in the area and create and maintain an environment which supports the now extinct native grey partridge and in addition restore an old ancient roadway known locally as the Old Dublin Coach Road and record the history back to the late 16th Century.

The Grey Partridge will be reared as naturally as possible under broody bantams to instill the natural instincts of coping with the hazardous environment. Local crops are grown in the area to maintain a suitable natural environment and over 2000 acres are leased and agreed with 65 landowners to protect and ensure an area capable of carrying out such a project. The purchase of specialist equipment, such as an all-terrain vehicle, off-road trailers, water bowser, seed sower and the roofing of an old country silo, is needed to form a base for the project.

The Old Dublin Coach Road was originally the main supply route for all commodities from Dublin to the local towns and on to Derry City, Coleraine with branches via. Blackhill, Forgetown to Dungiven, Limavady Newtown and Down Hill. Most of this road accept for the removal of about two hedges still exists on the way to and through Lissan House and an old milestone has been found on the old road and will be relocated back on the section now being restored.

The section of old road being restored under the current funding will be resurfaced in hardcore with new drainage and old Ulster black stone gate posts on all farm gates for the entire length of this section of road in the stile of the early 1800’s. Information signs will be placed on the old roadway describing its users - back to Hugh O’Neill the warrior Earl of Ulster through the coarse of the Plantation, the Seige of Derry and the Ordnance Survey records of 1836.

The project will include visits from local schools to educate P6’s and 7’s of the work rearing the Grey Partridge and the history of nearly forgotten Dublin/Derry / Coleraine road.

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