Cookstown Area Plan 2010
Policy Framework: Conservation (Page 1 of 5)
Cookstown District is endowed with a rich and diverse range of landscapes, wildlife habitats and heritage features that together distinguish its special character and identity.
From its western boundaries, on the extensive upland bog and forests on the fringes of the Sperrin Mountains, the land falls progressively through undulating footslopes and drumlin lowlands to the flat shores of Lough Neagh and the broad floodplain of the Ballinderry River. A variety of landscape patterns has evolved over thousands of years, as natural and human forces have shaped and modified this natural topography. Today, each local landscape is characterised by a distinctive combination of land-cover, habitat and man-made features, the result of some 10,000 years of human activity and change on natural resources and topography.
This interaction between people and their environment will continue to bring about change over time and in response to the needs of the community. In managing the process of change and its effects on the natural and man-made landscape and townscape of the District, it will be important to safeguard the natural features and the archaeological and built heritage, which form part of the local identity.
Change can provide opportunities to sustain or reinforce the special character of the area and to enhance it, by improving the quality of new development. In this way this generation can ensure a rich surviving historic legacy and contribute to a healthy and attractive environment for future generations.
Landscape Quality and Character
The scenic value of part of the District's landscape has long been recognised. Fringe uplands in the west of the District are within the nationally important Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), designated in 1968. This designation is likely to be reviewed over the plan period, the responsibility resting primarily with the Department of Environment's Environment and Heritage Service. Other scenic landscapes include the Lough Neagh Shore and the Slieve Gallion slopes, but all landscapes of the District can be of local importance and provide a valuable asset for tourism, recreation and wildlife.