Staff volunteer as part of Live Here Love Here campaign

Staff at Armagh Observatory and Planetarium (AOP) embarked on a major spring clean of the historic grounds as the momentum gathers pace towards the popular attraction’s planned re-opening on 26 June.

The clean-up is part of the Live Here Love Here campaign which operates in conjunction with Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the Housing Executive and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

Staff, many of whom haven’t seen each other during the lockdown period, volunteered their time on Friday May 21 to conduct a socially distanced clean-up of AOP’s grounds and in particular, the Astropark.

Senior Education Officer, Heather Alexander says the grounds have provided important respite from lockdown for local people.

She said: “There has been a marked increase in the number of people using the grounds for dog walking or their daily exercise during lockdown, which has been great to see.

“Our beautiful grounds are open to the public and we love to see them being used. As you wander around the site it is hard not to be impressed by the beauty and history of the place, and for Armagh folk we are right on their doorstep.

“We would regularly conduct clean-ups but it has been hard to do this in recent months and with the additional people using the park, a spring clean is timely.

“Excitement is building towards our re-opening and we are expecting a lot of visitors when it is safe for them to return. Everyone at AOP is determined to ensure that when visitors do return the place is as welcoming as possible.”

The spring clean comes shortly after AOP planted a number of trees throughout the grounds to replace ones which had either been damaged in recent storms or needed to be felled for safety reasons.


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