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News

 

Events

 

Jan 2017 right left

      

New Year’s Day Winter Walk

Sunday 1st January
Mount Stewart
Adult £10 Child £5

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Rea’s Wood, Antrim – Woodland Management

Sunday 8th January
Reas Wood Antrim
Free

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Save our Red Squirrels — plant a tree

Saturday 14th January
Mount Stewart
No Charge, Donations Welcome

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60–minute workout to increase the communication impact of your EU–funded project

Tuesday 17th January
Online
Free

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Gilford Castle, Gilford Village – Hedge Maintenance

Sunday 22nd January
Gilford Castle
Free

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Cold Busters – Tea Healing

Saturday 28th January
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

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EC Challenge on Strangford 16 March 2012

EC challenge on Strangford Lough

The Department of Environment and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that a letter has been received from the European Commission outlining their final position in respect of the management of Strangford Lough.

The Commission has raised concerns about the protection of the remaining communities of Horse Mussels (modiolous), the control and assessment of pot fishing and acquaculture activities and enhance restoration of habitat.

Alex Attwood said: “A formal letter has been received from the EU commencing a process of investigation and dialogue. Our response must be decisive. We need to demonstrate that the horse mussel reef issue is being conclusively addressed. I will be discussing this issue with my Executive colleague Michelle O’Neill. We have until May this year to convince the EU that any deterioration is being addressed, beyond which infraction awaits”

Minister O’Neill added “My Department has responsibility for fisheries management in the Lough. I remain disappointed with the Commission interpretation but I am determined to develop a response which fully matches our responsibility under the Habitats Directive. 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.”

Minister Attwood concluded “Following my meetings in Brussels, I am arranging to return to Brussels in the next few weeks to discuss with senior EU officials – and I hope with the Environment Commissioner – to attempt to ensure understanding of measures to protect the horse mussel reef, a sustainable fishing industry working in harmony within the ethos of the Habitats Directive and to show an unambiguous determination to settle the matter once and for all”.