NI Environment Link - Latest News NI Environment Link en-gb Andi Topping (NI Environment Link) (NI Environment Link) <![CDATA[ Root for your favourite Tree!]]>


Image by Michael Cooper

(via The Woodland Trust)

A fairy thorn that guards the grave of an evil wizard, and a monster of a giant redwood – they are just two of six amazing contenders shortlisted by the Woodland Trust in the search for Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year 2018.

The competition aims to highlight and celebrate the country’s remarkable, yet unsung, trees. And members of the public are asked to play a part by simply voting for their favourite from the final shortlist. 

Northern Ireland’s six splendid specimens, chosen by experts from across a number of organisations, are:  

  • Ballymenoch Oak: Turkey oak at Ballymenoch Park, Holywood
  • Hezlett House Spanish Chestnut: Sweet (or Spanish) chestnut at Hezlett House, Castlerock
  • Sandy Row Fairy Thorn: Hawthorn at Sandy Row, south Belfast
  • The Bishop’s Tree: Sweet chestnut, Lumen Christi College, Derry/Londonderry
  • The Giant’s Grave Thorn: Hawthorn at Slaughtaverty, near Garvagh
  • The Giant Sequoia: Multi–stemmed giant sequoia (or giant redwood) at Castlewellan Forest Park, Castlewellan

The process is simple – the tree with the most votes wins and with it comes a tree care award of £1,000. This could assist a health check from a specialist, educational materials or a community event in celebration of the tree.

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland said: “We asked the pubic to nominate their best–loved trees – trees with stories – and we’re now delighted to reveal the final line–up of six. From factual history to tales of highwaymen and fairy folklore, each has a fantastic story to tell.

Read the full press release here…

Mon, 17 Sep 2018 14:00:07 +0100
<![CDATA[ Vote for your favourite park!]]>  


(via Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful)

The experts have had their say and in July 1,883 parks and green spaces in the UK were given a prestigious Green Flag Award.

Now, the Award Scheme is asking the nation to have its say and decide which parks and green spaces should receive the People’s Choice Award for being the UK’s favourites. 

Whether you enjoy visiting a park or green space to play football, walk the dog, exercise or simply get away from the hustle and bustle, if you think your favourite deserves to be in the top 10 People’s Choice then cast your vote.

All you have to do is go to, find your park on the winners map and click the voting button. Once you’ve registered your vote, why not encourage others to get involved too through social media using the hashtag #PeoplesChoice. 

Voting opens 1st September and closes 30th September, with the top 10 sites being announced on 16th October.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award Manager said: This year 1,883 parks and green spaces met the tough standards demanded by our Green Flag Award Judges but we want to know which parks the UK public love the most.

Read the full press release here…

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:16:10 +0100
<![CDATA[ Belfast LDP consultation events]]>  

Belfast City Council are now working on the Plan Strategy part of the LDP which sets out an ambitious vision for Belfast as well as the objectives and strategic policies required to deliver that vision.

The public consultation on the Belfast Local Development Plan 2035 draft Plan Strategy has commenced and the draft Plan Strategy and supporting documents are now available for consideration at

You can also view these documents at our offices from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Offices are located at Cecil Ward Building, 4–10 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BP.

These documents will continue to be available until the consultation closes at 5pm on Thursday 15th November 2018.

Belfast City Council are also running the following events across the city where you can input in to the draft Strategy:


Skainos Centre
Tues 18th September
6pm – 8pm
City Hall
Thur 20th September
10am – 2pm
Olympia Leisure Centre
Tues 25th September
6pm – 8pm

You will be able to submit formal comments from Thursday 20th September 2018 until the consultation period closes at 5pm Thursday 15th November 2018.

Representations can be submitted through the consultation hub (accessible from 20th September from or by returning the LDP response form by post before 5pm on Thursday 15th November 2018. Any representations received after this time will not be considered.

If you have any queries on the Local Development Plan, you can contact the Belfast Planning Service on 028 9050 0510 or e–mail: 

Please click here to sign up to our Local Development plan mailing list to keep updated with progress and up and coming events

Tue, 18 Sep 2018 10:21:27 +0100
<![CDATA[ Post Brexit fisheries & NI…]]>

(via NIMTF & Nature Matters NI)


Image by Dave Wall
As the UK Government sets out goals for “Sustainable Fisheries for Future Generations” in their White Paper consultation, Northern Ireland runs the risk of missing the boat in getting its local fisheries law future ready. 

The Northern Ireland Marine Task Force (NIMTF) and Nature Matters NI,  environmental coalitions who represent more than 100,000 members have submitted a response[1] to the UK fisheries consultation welcoming that the White Paper will ‘restate the UKs commitment to sustainable fisheries’. The groups are calling for similar policy to be enacted in Northern Ireland.

While the future policy for farming in Northern Ireland is currently out to the public for views, there is no such local consultation for fisheries and our seas

Ellen MacMahon – NIMTF Officer said:

“A common framework for sustainable fisheries is urgently needed across the UK as it prepares to leave the European Union. We need everyone, including Northern Ireland, to play by the same rules and work together in designing a course for future fisheries management. The White Paper must not lead to a pick and mix style framework, where there are disproportionate environmental standards across the UK.

In order to deliver a co–designed and co–managed fisheries framework DEFRA needs to be working closely with the Devolved Administrations and with all fisheries stakeholder groups in a proactive and productive way.

Read the full press release here…
Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:46:34 +0100
<![CDATA[ EU Matters August 2018]]>


Read the August 2018 edition here…

Tue, 28 Aug 2018 15:21:40 +0100