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Slieve Donard – Our position on memorials

While we are delighted to see more people than ever enjoying time outdoors on Slieve Donard, the delicate ecosystem of the mountain has come under increased pressure due to the rise in footfall. We recognise that most people follow the countryside code and ‘leave no trace’, however we have noticed an increased number of visitors choosing to remember loved ones by leaving personal mementos at this popular mountain summit.

The Mourne Mountains sit at the heart of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and much of Slieve Donard is an Area of Special Scientific Interest and a Special Area of Conservation. The summit cairn, known as the Great Cairn, is the remains of a megalithic passage grave from around 3,000 BC.

The National Trust, together with key stakeholders including the Mourne Heritage Trust, Mountaineering Ireland and NI Water are responsible for managing this important conservation site, with support from environmental and outdoor recreation bodies such as Mountaineering Ireland and the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs.

To protect the natural scenic beauty of the Mournes and maintain Slieve Donard’s delicate ecosystem, the Trust along with its partners, is seeking to minimise the impact of visitors on this mountain.

Together we recognise that memorials placed on the mountain is a sensitive and delicate issue, but the placement of memorials has the potential to alter the character of the mountain and change the experience of other people who visit.

After careful consideration it has been agreed that memorials and mementos left on the mountain will be removed to ensure the natural beauty and character of Slieve Donard remains for everyone to enjoy.

Any memorials removed from the mountain will be stored at the National Trust office at Murlough National Nature Reserve for a three-month period to enable those who left the items to collect them.

We would like to thank visitors for your support.

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