Audit of Access to Strangford Lough

Client: Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership

The Challenge

To conduct an audit of access for water based recreation to Strangford Lough

The boundary for the audit related to the European Marine Site (SAC /SPA) of Strangford Lough form Ballyquintin Point in Ards and North Down Borough to Killard Point in Newry, Mourne and Down District.

The Role

We delivered the following components of the project:

  • Assessment and description of current access
  • Consideration of potential future access
  • Development of recommendations relevant to the potential to develop water based recreation whilst conserving the area’s conservation features and biosecurity
  • A Habitats Regulations Assessment of the recommended system of access relevant to Strangford Lough


The project requirements were delivered through:

  • An examination of the strategic context (i.e. local / national strategies and policies) in which the Audit of Access will operate
  • Desk research including GIS mapping
  • Fieldwork to assess up to 34 sites on the shores of Strangford Lough
  • Consultation – one-to-one and workshops
  • Best practice benchmarking
  • HRA Screening


Project Partners

Blackstaff Ecology – Habitat Regulations Assessment

Project Funders

Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council
Ards and North Down Borough Council