Rams Island Heritage Project  Supported By


The Rams Island Heritage Project is an undertaking of the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association Company.


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Ramís Island Heritage Project


At the turn of the century members of RBLNA had been commenting that the situation on Rams Island had in general been declining, the bird population  had fallen  and there did not seem to be as many nesting birds as in former years. The mature trees have been suffering and some have fallen over. The OíNeill summerhouse and the round tower are in need of urgent attention. The jetties had fallen into disrepair and the once flower lined paths have practically disappeared. The only things that were thriving on the Island were the predators the invasives and the sycamores. The pre McMahon waterline stone wall was being removed by visitors. It is a very rare example marking the natural shoreline of Lough Neagh as most other  shoreline marks around Lough Neagh have disappeared.

We do not advocate the introduction of non native species to the Island. However we do wish to retain the 200 year old exotic planted garden in the original upper part of the Island (non invasive species only).

Background on Lead Organisation

The River Bann and Lough Neagh Association (RBLNA) can trace its roots back to 1962; On the 20th of February, 1962, the River Bann Boat Club was formed ; River Bann and Lough Neagh Association came into existence officially in 1967 because of the threat of closure of the River Bann navigation between Toomebridge and Coleraine. The fact that navigation is still possible is due to the efforts of many people, but without the work of the RBLNA it is quite likely that navigation would have ceased years ago. In 2000 the Association became a branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

RBLNA's aims are to preserve and promote the amenities of the River Bann and Lough Neagh, their tributaries and associated waterways. The Association has held many boat rallies over the years.  A highly successful event was held at Portglenone in 1998. Very well attended rallies are held on Lough Neagh every year .The Association has made substantial donations to Lough Neagh Rescue and to the R.N.L.I. The Association has produced charts and guides including a very successful pilot book for the navigable system.

RBLNA is a voluntary body of waterways enthusiasts with members whose interests are boating, natural and built heritage, conservation, bird watching, wildlife,  history, archaeology and fishing. 
Environment & Heritage Service (now NIEA) have had a substantial interest in Lough Neagh for many years, primarily because of its importance as a wetland and for breeding and wintering bird populations.  There has been a substantial increase from other Government Departments in recent years, particularly from the potential of recreation and tourism. Officers of the RBLNA serve on the various Advisory Committees. As Waterways Ireland, the Navigation Authority for the Lower Bann becomes established and interest grows in the possibility of reopening the Ulster Canal, the RBLNA is keen to play its part in the exciting changes that are under way.


Aims and Objectives


        To restore and care for the natural and built heritage of Rams Island.

        To restore safe controlled access for all including disabled to Rams Island.

        To educate all about the diverse natural and built heritage of Rams Island and the Lough Neagh Wetlands.


        Renew south-eastern jetty to all weather spec.

        Provide signage.

       Upgrade the Island paths to a clearly defined network to minimise wildlife disturbance.

        Eradicate the predators which are decimating the wildlife.

     Eradicate and replace the Sycamores with native species on the Island (long term).

       Provide tree surgery to the mature trees which are in danger of falling over particularly along the top of the steep banks and cut back the trees which are damaging  the round tower. Remove the trees which are growing through the cottage.

        Close access to the cottage.

        Provide a central picnic/barbecue area near the jetty.

  Provide managed access to the Island for general public via a scheduled ferry service.

       Provide a warden service particularly during the current busy weekend periods.

       Formulate and implement Biodiversity Action Plan for the Island.

       To date 2021 we have achieved a lot of these aims and objectives but have still a long road to travel with our volunteers.





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This site was last updated 13-May-2021