Creating Community Spirit In The Glens


Meet Fern Major one of our Community Walk Leaders in the beautiful Glens of Antrim.

Fern who is the Friends of Glenariff & Antrim Glens Tourism Volunteer was recently interviewed as part of the Eden Projects Great Big Walk by Team NI. This area has an abundant community spirit which Fern attributes to the active engagement of community groups in creating social opportunities for locals to come together and make meaningful connections.

Reflecting on the area Fern said “Our area is celebrated by walkers worldwide and we were delighted to bring the Great Big Walk into Glenariffe taking them off-road to enjoy a feast of flora and fauna on the Garron plateau before descending to Glenariff Forest Park, where the walkers were treated to a lovely afternoon tea at The Laragh Lodge and met volunteers from the Glens Red Squirrel Group and Antrim Glens Tourism. Oisins CLG hurling field was the next stop to see the local Under 10s and Under 12s in action. Oisins CLG in association with Friends of Glenariffe are currently running a community fitness programme bringing people out to walk and exercise together so it was great to invite the walkers to enjoy a taste of our community and see what so many ordinary people do to make our community extraordinary".

Ferns Walking Group Glenariff Oisins Biggest Loser (GOBL) is an annual programme of exercise, activities and weekly weigh-ins which aims to help improve local community health and fitness levels. Although the main programme runs from mid-May to mid-July, they continue to arrange activities and walks throughout the year.

The new initiative by the Eden Project is asking folks in Northern Ireland to be part of a UK-wide event which sees five teams of walkers stroll across the UK to celebrate initiatives in their area. The walkers have been recording their journey and time spent visiting different community projects and initiatives spending time with the extraordinary people who go the extra mile to bring communities together. 

The Great Big Walk is funded by the National lottery and highlights the diversity of communities in Northern Ireland and beyond, and celebrates all people have in common.

The two Northern Ireland walkers are Olivia Cosgrove volunteer with Refugee Rescue and the founder of Row the Erne, and Noel Johnston, who has achieved the record for walking the Ulster Way in 28 days to raise money for charity and needy families.

The teams are walking home from West Yorkshire, finishing simultaneously on Sunday 18 June in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and London.

For more information, click here.