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An engineered ride

Opened in May this year, the National Trust's £50,000, 20m span Carrick-a-rede rope bridge on the Antrim coast replaces an earlier structure built to give access for salmon fishermen to the tiny islet of Carrick-a-rede. A deepwater channel runs close to the islet, and for generations local salmon fishermen have operated a fixed net in the channel. The bridge allows them to get to the islet even in the worst weather.

Designed and built by Belfastbased Heyn Engineering, checked by consultant Ferguson and McIlveen and erected by Rope Access Specialists, the new bridge is said to be much safer than the previous crossing - but still provides a wild ride some 25m above the sea. Around 100,000 visitors a year visit the attraction and most cross it, for which achievement they are entitled to a certificate from the National Trust.

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