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Today we’re pleased to welcome Katie Taylor of Mourne Heritage Trust, who you’ll have seen in the BBC’s ‘The Chronicles of Mourne’ documentary.
I’m a Project Officer for the Mourne Heritage Trust delivering path repairs for the Glen River trail. Before that I studied Land Use and Environmental Management with Queen’s University Belfast, and a Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity with the University of Exeter.
I was born in Belfast, but have lived in Newcastle, County Down for most of my life.
My main responsibility is to help repair the Glen River path to Slieve Donard with my co-worker Phil Savage, and our volunteer team. This involves using hand tools and materials won from the land around us to make a natural, robust and sustainable route. Asides from that, I look after all our volunteers, and try to get stuck in with other interesting projects delivered by the MHT, like the Red Squirrel release in Silent Valley, or our Heathland Restoration Project.
I’ve lived in Newcastle from a very young age, and the Mourne Mountains were a huge part of my childhood; from exploring the peaks, jumping into the Glen River with my friends, bush crafting in the woods, and camping overnight – the mountains were a complete entertainment package. Nowadays I’m happy to have an opportunity to give back to the area I grew up in, and to hopefully keep it special for future generations.
That’s a difficult one! When I have friends over to visit, I love taking them up Slieve Binnain as there’s so much to explore, like Percy Bysshe Cave or Binnian Lough.
It’s such a beautiful spot, especially around the tors at the top of the mountain – it never fails to impress!
The weather can be a big obstacle sometimes, especially around the Winter months where you get every combination of cold, rain and wind imaginable!
Myself and Phil Savage form the Upland Repair Team for the MHT, and we have a dedicated group of Volunteers who join us every week to help deliver path work, we couldn’t do without their skills and hard work!
It was an interesting experience, I felt very self-conscious a lot of the time, and I was quite worried about how the show would look. But I’m really pleased with the show, the scenery shots were beautiful and the stories fascinating. The show has also been good for the MHT too, we have had a lot of people interested in exploring the Mountains, and getting in touch with us to enquire about volunteering which has been fantastic!
Meeting wonderful, positive and talented people who genuinely care about the Mournes, and getting to work with a great view every day.
All public donations go straight back into our volunteers and Mournes projects, so please visit http://www.mournelive.com/ to find out how to donate. Also if you would like to volunteer, please don’t hesitate to contact us.