Sperrin Area of outstanding natural beauty

Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is one of eight AONB across Northern Ireland and was first designated in 1968 and to date has not benefitted from a management plan unlike the other areas.  The wider Sperrins area stretches from the Donegal border in the west, to Lough Neagh in the east and to the Atlantic shores in the north. The natural asset of the mountain range mixed with the unspoilt landscape of winding rivers, sun swept valleys and scenic lakes all translate into a region recognised as one of the most idyllic geographical areas of rural Ireland.  The area is rich in historic and archaeological heritage and folklore.

Sperrin AONB | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (daera-ni.gov.uk)


Dearbháile Hutchinson, Sperrin AONB Officer

Meet the Sperrin AONB Project Officer...

Name and Job Title:

Dearbháile Hutchinson, Sperrin AONB Project Officer

What attracted you to the role?

I come from the area myself and growing up the Sperrins was a big part of my life. I’ve fond memories of exploring the area with my family from an early age and this is something that I now do with my own children. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful landscape right on my doorstep. When I saw the role advertised, I knew straightaway that I would love to be involved in such an interesting and exciting project.

What are you most looking forward to in your new role?

I think I’m most looking forward to getting out and meeting the people who make the Sperrins what it is. My career background is in Community Development, so I understand the valuable work that takes place on the ground within communities and how important it is to have everyone involved.

Tell us something interesting about yourself…

I have three young boys, so I am well outnumbered in my house. Ironically, I come from a family full of girls, with three sisters, and always said I would also love a brother!

As Sperrin Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Project Officer, Deabháiles role will include delivering an identified programme of conservation, enhancement and promotion actions for natural, built and cultural heritage in Sperrin AONB and sustainable tourism activities. A key part of the role will be to engage with local communities, land owners and other key stakeholders to identify, agree and implement planned measures and agree project solutions. This role will include being responsible for co-ordinating activities in environmental management, sustainable development, raising awareness and good practice within the geographic area with its partners.

Contact Dearbháile by email dearbhaile.hutchinson@derrystrabane.com