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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Aug 2014 right left

    

Canals and Navigations

Friday 1st August
Waterman House, 5–33 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Free

Have a Go Day

Friday 1st August
Crawfordsburn Country Park
Free

Rare Breeds Poulty Fair

Saturday 2nd August
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free, Seperate Charge for Sellers

August Car Boot Sale at Mount Stewart

Saturday 2nd August
Mount Stewart
Car £5, Van £10, Trailer £15

Lughnasa Fair at Carrickfergus Castle

Saturday 2nd August
Carrickfergus Castle
Normal Admission Rates Apply

August Saturdays at Dunluce Castle

Saturday 2nd August
Dunluce Castle
Normal Admission Rates Apply

Meadows to Mountains Walk

Saturday 2nd August
St Galls Clubhouse, 4 Miltown Row, Belfast
Small fee for the day

Kite Festival

Sunday 3rd August
Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House
Normal Admission, Members Free

Summer Family Fun Day

Sunday 3rd August
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free

Strangford Sea Safari

Sunday 3rd August
Strangford Lough
Adult £12, Child £6

Kite Festival at Redburn

Sunday 3rd August
Redburn Country Park
Free

World War 1 Weekend, Grey Point Fort

Sunday 3rd August
Grey Point Fort
Normal Admission Rates Apply

Early Christian Life on the Island

Sunday 3rd August
Devenish Monastic Site
Free

World War One Film Night, Grey Point Fort

Monday 4th August
Grey Point Fort
N/A

Beckett Season – Storytelling event at Curry’s Cottage

Tuesday 5th August
Curry’s Cottage, Derrylin, 9 Derryhooly Rd, BT92 9ES
See flyer for details

06
07

Go Batty! at Ardress House

Friday 8th August
Ardress House
Adult £5, Child £3, Family £13

Bat Night at Quoile

Friday 8th August
Quoile Countryside Centre
Free

Tully Castle Capers and Dog Show

Saturday 9th August
Tully Castle, Derrygonnelly
Free

Medieval Fair at Dundrum Castle

Saturday 9th August
Dundrum Castle
Free

Geology of Northern Ireland in a Nutshell

Saturday 9th August
Crawfordsburn Country Park
Free

Open Day at Ards Allottments

Saturday 9th August
Ards Allottments
Free

Geology Rocks

Sunday 10th August
Assembly point: 10:30am Dunseverick Harbour Car Park
Free

National Marine Week Geology Rocks at Dunseverick

Sunday 10th August
Dunseverick, Bushmills
Free

Medieval Food & Quill Writing

Sunday 10th August
Fermanagh County Museum
Normal Admission Rates Apply

August Week on the Wildside

Monday 11th August
Murlough National Nature Reserve
Normal Admission, Members Free

12
13
14

CraftFest 2014

Friday 15th August
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

Victorian Weekend

Saturday 16th August
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free, Additional Charge for Afternoon Tea

World War One Commemorations

Saturday 16th August
Inniskillings Museum
Normal Admission Rates Apply

Drystone Walling, Inishowen, County Donegal

Saturday 16th August
Inishowen, Co Donegal
TBC

Landscape Painting & Photography Workshops

Saturday 16th August
Castle Archdale, Country Park
Free

Go Batty in the Park at Mossley Mill

Saturday 16th August
Mossley Mill, Newtowabbey
Free

17
18
19
20

An Evening at Yellow Jack’s Cairn

Thursday 21st August
Divis and the Black Mountain
Adult £3

Batty Bonanza

Friday 22nd August
Springhill
Adult £5, Child £3, Family £13, Price includes light refreshments

Bat Walk

Friday 22nd August
Boom Hall – Derry–Londonderry
No charge, donations welcome

Season’s End in the Dunes

Saturday 23rd August
Portstewart Strand
Adult £2, Child £1

Go Fishing

Saturday 23rd August
Assembly Point: Altnahinch Dam Car Park
Free

Nature’s Little Helpers at Kilbroney Forest Park

Saturday 23rd August
Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor
Free

Jazz Sunday

Sunday 24th August
Crom
Normal Admission, Members Free

Princesses and Pirates

Sunday 24th August
Springhill
Normal Admission, Members Free

Summer of Cultures Family Fun Day

Monday 25th August
Enniskillen Castle Museums
Tickets £3.50 per adult/ child/senior & student. Under 2’s go free. Group ticket for 5 admissions – £15.00.

Cot Trips – August Bank Holiday

Monday 25th August
Crom
Adult £4, Child £2

Bank Holiday Monday at Carrickfergus Castle

Monday 25th August
Carrickfergus Castle
Normal Admission Rates Apply

26

International Pollinator Pow–Wow

Wednesday 27th August
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon
Free

Bat Night

Thursday 28th August
Assembly point: 7:30pm O’Harabrook Estate stable yard, Ballymoney (approx. 10pm  nish)
Free

Bat Evening at Roe Valley

Thursday 28th August
Roe Valley Country Park
Free

Putting Ecosystem Services into Practice

Thursday 28th August
Garron Plateau, Co. Antrim
£20.00

Central and Local Government Reform

Friday 29th August
Clifton House, North Queen Street, Belfast
Free

30

Meet the Normans!

Sunday 31st August
Carrickfergus Castle
Normal Admission Rates Apply

      
NIAF NIAF
EEF NIAF
Climate Northern Ireland NIAF
 

£8m fine from Europe Closer 16 March 2012

Northern Ireland taxpayers have moved closer to footing a £8m fine from Europe.

It is over the failure to protect a key habitat in Strangford Lough – beds or reefs of horse mussels.

Two government departments had promised Europe we would protect the mussels back in 2006 and narrowly escaped a fine.

But since then, little has been done and on Thursday the EU started down the road of legal proceedings.

In a few month’s time, unless they can persuade the European Commission otherwise, the Departments of Environment and Agriculture will find themselves in the European courts, charged with breaching European directives.

Strangford Lough is an area of special scientific interest (ASSI), a special area of conservation (SAC) and a marine nature reserve.

It is one of the most protected areas of Europe, in theory. But in reality there has been little protection put in place.

It was discovered around 2000 that a number of the mussel beds were damaged and dead. With over 100 other species relying on the reefs formed by the mussels deep on the seabed as their habitat, the situation became critical.

Following a formal complaint to Europe, fines were only avoided because Europe was promised that the mussels would be protected and restored. That was in 2006, but it never happened.

Formal warning

Using Freedom of Information legislation, the BBC obtained emails sent between the Department of Environment and the Department of Agriculture. In one email a department official revealed “… if the commission asked what progress has been made, the departments will be exposed…”

In another email it was admitted that if Europe discovered what they had not done, “the commission would hang us out to dry”. But still little was done.

When it was apparent that little had been achieved, the Ulster Wildlife Trust made a second complaint to Europe last November. The European Commission has now written formally to the two government departments.

It has raised concerns over the protection of the remaining mussels, the management of activities on the lough and the restoration of the reefs.

Unless the departments can persuade the European Commission otherwise, they could face a fine of at least £8m plus a fine of tens of thousands of euros for every day the problem persists. And they have only weeks to make their case following the formal warning they have just received from the commission.

“Our response must be decisive,” said environment minister Alex Attwood.

“We need to demonstrate that the horse mussel reef issue is being conclusively addressed. We have until May this year to convince the EU that any deterioration is being addressed, beyond which infraction awaits.”

The BBC understands that Mr Attwood has meet with senior EU officials in Northern Ireland and Brussels to try and reassure the commission.

Clock ticking

But it will be the Department of Agriculture who will have to do the lion’s share of the reassuring. Only they can introduce the necessary protection required by Europe and it needs to be done immediately.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill said that she is disappointed with the commission’s interpretation of the situation.

“I am determined to develop a response which fully matches our responsibility under the Habitats Directive,” she said.

“I have undertaken to meet fishermen in the near future to discuss options with them and officials from both departments will be working hard together to develop a satisfactory management regime for the future.”

But that may not satisfy Europe. They have made it clear that at this late stage they are looking specific action, not options. With just a few weeks until the May deadline there is little time for more discussions.

Heather Thompson, chief executive of the Ulster Wildlife Trust, who made the latest complaint, told the BBC: “We hope that the action taken by the European Commission will force our government to take its environmental governance role seriously and ensure the appropriate management of Strangford Lough.

“The Ulster Wildlife Trust now urges our politicians to do what is needed to fulfil our European legal obligations and stave off potentially costly infraction fines.”

The departments have just 10 weeks to salvage the situation and the clock is ticking.