Lyn Nelson, Founder of Emerald Heritage, was born and raised on the north coast of Ireland. A wife and mother of two daughters, Lyn learned through the local press about the very serious situation facing Irish native woodlands and how deforestation over the centuries had impacted upon the whole of Ireland’s landscape to the present day.

Lyn comments: “We remain the least wooded country in Europe. The current face of Irish landscape presents a very worrying picture. Once gone, these areas of beauty and tranquillity are lost forever, yet they continue to be destroyed in favour of concrete and development.”

With Lyn’s love for research and extraordinary determination to make a difference she envisaged a solution for people all over the world to get onboard to raise the funds required to begin the restoration, protection and enhancement of the depleted Irish woodland.

Lyn explains, “The protection and enhancement of Irish landscape was the primary motive in the formation of Emerald Heritage – a land plot purchase offers everyone the chance to own a little piece of Irish heritage, and the unique opportunity to get involved and to improve the quality and quantity of native Irish woodland and its wildlife habitat.

By inviting everyone to own a plot of Irish land within the much loved and famous Glens of Antrim - named as one of the most spectacular and scenic destinations in the world – together we can build the largest worldwide community of Squireen’s – essentially, the largest group of Irish landowners/conservationists that Ireland has ever seen – making the miles between us even smaller by bringing the local communities from both sides of the Atlantic together building lifelong friendships!”.

Lyn states “We have simply refused to rely on Government grants, goodwill or donations - This way we have the independence to address often controversial subjects surrounding conservation. We can also ask the landowners to make their own decisions and get involved.

Lyn understood how proud people were of their Irish roots. “The Irish are a very unique culture with a very strong and loving connection with our Irish diaspora around the world. Just look in the phone books in America, Canada and Australia and you will see the same similar Irish names; Robinson, Davidson, McGill, Black, Cameron, Jackson, Burns, Connelly etc”.

We have already built wonderful friendships across the world. Emerald Heritage has provided us with a reason to keep in touch and a unique way of keeping our Irish Heritage around the world alive – a unique project that will keep a bond between us which will lasting generation after generation.

Our first Irish Gathering is booked for 6-11th September 2015 and many of the local agencies and Charities are also involved, making for the most exciting fun packed twinning holiday; which includes a visit to their land to locate their plot and plant a tree, a visit to the Omagh museum, (depicting the story of how and why our Irish ancestors left), visits to famous landmarks including and not limited to ‘The Giants Causeway’, ‘Carrickarede Rope Bridge’, ‘The Vanishing Lake’ and ‘The Game of Thrones’ film locations, and a presentation from the Ulster Historical foundation explaining the history surrounding Irish immigration; they can also assist our landowners to trace their Irish roots and build their family tree. This will all be topped off with lots of Irish entertainment and plenty of the oul craic!

Since our advertisement in Irish Central last month, we have received lots of emails from enthusiastic landowners coming to join us on our Irish Gathering:

"I am extremely excited about attending the Irish Gathering in September. I have recently purchased a plot of land through Emerald Heritage and I look forward to planting a tree on it. I also look forward to discovering the Irish roots in my family tree." - Melissa Wicker Harmon

“Imagine owning a piece of land in another country - land that stays in your family forever! To be able to visit and plant a tree in an area where your ancestors once walked is amazing. Helping to revitalize and preserve that property for future generations is the icing on the cake. My family and I are so excited to be participating in Emerald Heritage’s Irish Gathering in September! Northern Ireland holds a very special place in my heart, so being able to help revitalize this beautiful country with my family means so much. I’m thrilled that we will be a part of this special event, which will ensure Northern Ireland’s natural beauty for future generations. I can’t wait to catch up with old friends and develop new ones. All the best until we meet in September!" -  Rebecca Cameron Sellers

Emerald Heritage works collaboratively with many local and regional organizations, including The Causeway Coast & Glens Tourism, to find new and innovative ways to protect the future of Ireland’s landscape for future generations and encourage our Irish Diaspora to come and see their very own plot of land located within the homeland of their ancestors.

This is their quote below:

"Causeway Coast and Glens Tourism are delighted that Emerald Heritage will be bringing visitors to this region and anyone visiting will be treated to some of the most beautiful scenery to be found anywhere in the world" – Jason Powell

We already owned land in the beautiful area of The Glens of Antrim, and we chose the land because of its spectacular location, yet within easy reach of local amenities. We were very concerned about the definite and impending development of this historical area. We realized that we could make a difference with the public’s help. By inviting them to purchase their own little souvenir plot of land and investing in the future of the area with Emerald Heritage; together we can ensure that this valuable natural resource will never, ever be destroyed by developers or the like, ensuring that it was permanently protected and preserved along with its natural habitats, wild plants and animal species; simultaneously providing a solution to this age old problem.

The land is an extension of Craigagh Wood, if you visit you will understand why much of the area is designated as an area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB) and regarded as one of the most beautiful scenic landscapes in the world, displaying magical views and breath-taking scenery. The surrounding areas are overflowing with wildlife, birds, plants, insects and mammals of all varieties, making it the ideal destination for landscape-lovers and travelers. Perfect for walkers, cyclists, fishermen and lovers of nature; the purchase of an Emerald Heritage plot provides a great incentive to visit land in such an enchanting part of the world. Visitors can enjoy the stunning green hills, miles of long sandy beaches, timeless moorlands, peat bogs, rugged cliffs, mountains, and picturesque winding rivers creating memories to cherish for a long time.

With the funds raised from the sale of the plots, we will plant new Irish native trees and fund more land to protect and conserve. Our vision for the future is to create woodland of many hundreds of acres which will be protected forever and will leave a stamp on the Irish landscape forever.

Nestled within the Glens of Antrim, one of the most scenic destinations in the world, Emerald Heritage land plots are available in three sizes, 1, 4 and 9 sq ft, and will be yours to hold in perpetuity - a perfect gift for those with Irish heritage wishing to claim back some of the terrain of their ancestry.

Emerald Heritage landowners will receive a pack containing:

  • Official registration
  • An introductory letter
  • A master title deed with their choice of Title, Squireen, Squire or Squiress. This can be used to change your title on bank accounts, utility bills and other forms of documentation.
  • A high quality, full color, gift folder containing all your documents
  • A legal certificate of sale, on velum parchment, including GPS co-ordinates so that you may locate your plot
  • An A3 size personalized map of the land (111/2 x 161/2 inches)
  • A host of information about the area and its history, including directions to the land.

This personalised, elegantly presented -yet affordable gift is ideal for any special occasion. An Emerald Heritage plot can cost as little as $50, ranging in size up to $165, and will be in the family forever, allowing you to pass your little piece of Ireland onto your children and grandchildren.

 

A chat with the founder of Emerald Heritage, the first Irish conservation project of its kind.