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Nov 2015 right left


Weekends in November, Festival of Light

Sunday 1st November
Mount Stewart
Adult £10, Child £7.50, Family £30, Member Adult £10, Child £7.50, Family £30

Book Fair at Castle Ward

Sunday 1st November
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

Gilford Castle, Gilford Village – Woodland Management

Sunday 1st November
Gilford Castle

Autumn Garden Walk at Mount Stewart

Monday 2nd November
Mount Stewart
Adult £10, Child £5, Member Adult £10, Member Child £5

An Evening with Sir Mark Walport – How will we power the UK in the Future?

Tuesday 3rd November
W5, 2 Queens Quay, Belfast BT3 9QQ

Fracking: Devil or Angel? A Debate based on the Facts (with some values thrown in!)

Wednesday 4th November
The Black Box, 18–22 Hill Street, Belfast, BT1 2LA
Science NI


BTO NI Birdwatchers Conference

Saturday 7th November
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, Craigavon, BT66 6NJ
See website for details

Brackfield Wood Tree Planting – Go the extra mile to mark the anniversary of the First World War

Saturday 7th November
Faughan Valley, just outside Derry/Londonderry,

Foraging Walk and Soda Bread Workshop

Saturday 7th November
The Plantin’ Park, Draperstown

Free Community Open Day

Sunday 8th November
Giants Causeway

Christmas Design Workshop

Sunday 8th November
Rowallane Garden
Adult £45, Member Adult £45

Conservation Academy – Seals and Seabirds

Sunday 8th November
Murlough NNR
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Crafted at Castle Ward

Sunday 8th November
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free


One History, Many Stories

Tuesday 10th November
Bagenals Castle, Newry

In the Footprints of St Patrick

Wednesday 11th November
Down County Museum


Secrets of the Stone Ages

Saturday 14th November
Meet at the Giant’s Ring car park

Tower Wood, Clandeboye Estate, Bangor – Rhododendron Clearance

Sunday 15th November
Tower Wood, Clandeboye Estate, Bangor


Heritage of the Hills Uncovered – Secrets of Slievenacloy

Tuesday 17th November
Crescent Arts Centre
Free, booking essential

Irish Whale and Dolphins – What’s New

Tuesday 17th November
Ulster Museum


RCN’S AGM & Annual Conference – Think Rural! Your Voice Matters

Friday 20th November
Tirgan Community Hall, Moneymore

Local artists make light work at Mount Stewart

Friday 20th November
Mount Stewart
Gates open: 6pm Last admission time: 9pm, Adult £10, Child £7.50 (5–17 years), Group £30 (Family (2 adults)


NIEL Annual Conference 2015: Delivering Health Through The Environment

Tuesday 24th November
Great Hall, Queen’s University Belfast, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN

Lough Neagh – its future in your hands?

Tuesday 24th November
Various – see above

Conservation in the 21st Century: the why, what, how of natural capital

Wednesday 25th November
Saint Paul’s and St George’s Episcopal Church, 46 York Place, Edinburgh EH1 3JW


Santa Train

Saturday 28th November
Carnfunnock Country Park
£10.00 per child and £3.00 per adult

National Tree Week

Saturday 28th November
Carnfunnock Country Park

Gilford Castle, Gilford Village – Woodland Management

Sunday 29th November
Gilford Castle

People’s Climate Rally, Belfast

Sunday 29th November
Writer’s Square, Belfast

Santa’s House at Castle Ward

Monday 30th November
Castle Ward
Adult £7, Child £15. Member Adult £7, Child £15


Obesity cuts life Expectancy 12 March 2012

Obesity cuts life expectancy by nine years Poots

Obesity is a modern lifestyle epidemic that is threatening our health and well–being.

This was the key message delivered by Health Minister Edwin Poots at the launch of The Framework for Preventing and Addressing Overweight and Obesity in Northern Ireland 2012–2022: A Fitter Future for All.

This ten year strategy will seek to improve the health and well–being of people throughout their entire life, from newborns to seniors.

Mr Poots said: We need to face the issue of obesity head on. Its an issue that will require commitment and action from across all sectors, including other government departments and agencies. It is therefore my intention to invest more than 7 million towards tackling the problem of obesity over the next three years.

In Northern Ireland 59% of adults are either overweight (36%) or obese (23%). Another worrying statistic is that 8% of children aged 2–15 years were assessed as being obese. These figures demonstrate the scale of the problem and the enormous challenge we are facing.

The new framework sets challenging targets. To date we have focussed on simply trying to stop the rise in the levels of obesity, however under ‘A Fitter Future For All’ we want to reduce the level of obesity by 4% and overweight and obesity by 3% among adults. This means changing for better the lives of around 60,000 people.

This will require changes in our lifestyles and behaviours. Most importantly, individuals need to be given the opportunity to make decisions that will benefit their own health and well–being.

The proposed framework proposes new measures aimed at:

· increasing levels of breastfeeding;

· increasing knowledge and skills about food and its preparation

· encouraging participation in physical activity;

· promoting walking and cycling;

· making sure how we live and where we live encourages and supports

· healthy eating and physical activity; and;

· encouraging and supporting more community involvement with these issues.

The Minister added: The negative impact on health caused by obesity cannot be overstated. Being obese increases the risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart disease; stroke, some cancers and Type 2 diabetes and can cut life expectancy by nine years.

It is a significant challenge facing modern society and if we dont tackle it now we are storing up a multitude of problems for ourselves in the future.

The Minister continued: More and more of our children and young people are becoming overweight or obese and are putting themselves at risk of developing a range of health problems in their later years.

Evidence shows that it is more likely that an obese child will become an obese adult. This in turn will lead to a greater strain on our health and social care services, with more people requiring treatment and specialist care for obesity–related illnesses.

Northern Irelands Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride added: Obesity is one of the most important public health challenges facing Northern Ireland today. It knows no age limits, no boundaries, it does not discriminate and it brings with it increased risks of developing serious health problems.

People should be aware of the importance of a healthy diet and taking more exercise. We must act now to avoid a future where our children face significant health problems. Individuals can make choices in everyday life that will improve and protect their health.

The Minister cited the Give It A Go! initiative aimed at raising awareness of the range of nutritional and physical activity initiatives in the southern area for special mention.

He said: ‘TheGive It A Go!’ initiative is a great example of how collaborative work can make such a positive contribution to peoples lives by providing opportunities for learning, participation in physical activity and for social interaction.

Tackling obesity throughout the entire population will take time but I strongly believe that the actions set out in this framework will inspire and enable people to improve their diets and be more active.

Government cannot tackle obesity on its own. We can encourage and promote healthy eating and physical activity but as a society, we must take more individual responsibility for our own health outcomes.

Dr Tracy Owen, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Regional Lead for Obesity with the PHA, said: The PHA is already working with partner organisations across many of the areas included in the framework A Fitter Future for All and is addressing issues such as developing peoples skills and knowledge about healthier eating along with encouraging participation in physical activity. The framework gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of this important area and strengthen action.

As the Minister has mentioned, a good example of this coordinated action is the PHA supported initiative ‘Give it a Go!’ which is providing people in the Southern area with the opportunity to learn about food through supermarket tours and Cook it! classes and to get active through walks, spinning classes and many other activities, all of which are free. These taster sessions are aimed at raising awareness of healthier lifestyles which will ultimately make changes in behaviour more likely.

These changes, no matter how small, can help people to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight and bring big benefits to their general health. Importantly, we have developed this joint programme by working closely with our partners, particularly local councils.