The Heart of The Glens Landscape Partnership Scheme comprises 6 main areas including:
- Fair Head / Benmore
- Ballycastle Glens
- Moyle Moorland
- Moyle Glens
- Garron Plateau
- Southern Glens
Situated in County Antrim in the northeast corner of Ireland, The Glens of Antrim radiate out towards the Irish Sea from the Antrim Plateau, within almost a stone’s throw from Scotland. Until the construction of The Antrim Coast Road in the early to mid-1800’s The Glens was still an isolated community were Gaelic language, traditions and culture still held sway. Indeed sea access to Scotland was for the most part easier than access to much of Ireland. This strong link with Scotland goes back through millennia.
The Glens have an exceptional landscape with stunning scenery that reflects its designation as the Antrim Cost and Glens Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Its dramatic coastline with headlands and harbours, its magnificent valleys with fast flowing rivers and its unique sense of light and space has given the area a special character that is appreciated by local people and by the many visitors who travel here every year.
The landscape we see today is the result of an incredibly varied geology and thousands of years of human settlement. Fields of ladder farms with stone walls and hedgebanks (known locally as ditches) run up the glen sides, whilst scattered woodlands perch on steeper slopes. The hill tops are covered with open grassland and blanket bogs with their rich and often uncommon wildlife, and in places bear the scars of mining and turf cutting.
This exceptional area is home to a wide variety of ancient monuments such as prehistoric earthworks and tombs, stone enclosures, churches and castles. These buildings and structures remind us of the people of this place, their personal stories, beliefs, culture and traditions. The landscape brings with it a lot of infamous legends, myths and tales of love and war, including the famous Fionn Mac Cumhaill and Oisín, Deirdre of the Sorrows (Clann Uisnigh), The Children of Lir, and many battles by Séaghán Ó Néill and Clann Domhnaill to name a few. The landscape is dotted with many Clachans (groups of farmsteads) and the typical whitewashed farmhouses glen to glen along with the characteristic round gate posts, whin hedgerows and fuchsia. It is a countryside of culture and local traditions that the local people are very much proud to be a part of. From the Gaels from both sides of the Sea of Moyle, the Normans, to the Scots of the plantation period like the landscape, The Glens Folk and their culture are shaped by their complex past and their close bonds to both Ireland and Scotland.