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UK climate change adaptation – priorities, the strategic pathway to net zero emissions, and ambitions for COP26

Tuesday 8th December
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Water Framework Directive Stakeholder Webinar

Tuesday 15th December
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£18k for invasives & litter 18 November 2020

Sea2it to invest £18k tackling invasive species and litter in the Bann Estuary (via Sea2it)

 
sea2it

(Image via Sea2it)

Local Community Interest Company Sea2it has been awarded £14,000 from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) to tackle invasive species and litter in the Bann Estuary. The grant has been awarded through the Department’s “Environment Fund Water Quality Improvement Strand” and will be matched with volunteer time and financial contributions from Sea2it’s fundraising events, to deliver a total investment of £18,000.

This grant enables Sea2it to recruit up to 12 local volunteers to participate in training and gain a Level 2 qualification in the identification and treatment of invasive and injurious species near water. Qualified volunteers will commit to assisting the Sea2it team to tackle invasive species in the Bann Estuary over a number of years. Sea2it will establish ‘a bank’ of well–maintained equipment which qualified volunteers can access to help identify and treat invasive species.

Invasive species are a significant problem in both the UK and Ireland, with MP and Chair of the Environment and Audit Committee Mary Creagh suggesting the UK could need up to 1 million volunteers to help tackle the problem. A 2019 report prepared for the Binevenagh and Coastal Lowlands Landscape Partnership Scheme indicates that there are a number of species of concern in the Bann Estuary, including Japanese Knotweed, Giant Hogweed, Montbretia, Japanese Rose and Gunnera. These species outcompete native plants and have a negative impact on local habitats and species.

In addition to accredited invasive species training, the award from DAERA enables Sea2it to involve up to 72 volunteers in 6 adventure based litter expeditions to help clean–up the Bann Estuary. Local community and volunteer groups are encouraged to get involved in the clean–ups with participants working from low deck boats or a small rib to reach more inaccessible areas of the river and remove litter materials. The composition of all litter collected as part of the scheme will be recorded and shared with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful who maintain litter surveys for all of Northern Ireland. Where possible materials will be sorted for mixed recycling.

Commenting on the award Sea2it’s Andrew Bratton said “this award from DAERA’s Water Quality Improvement Strand funding provides a fantastic opportunity for the local community to get involved in healthy and fun expedition style litter picks. It also provides 12 dedicated volunteers with an opportunity to gain an accredited Level 2 qualification in the identification and treatment of invasive and injurious species. Sea2it is delighted to support and match fund the proposed activities and looks forward to delivering this project in partnership with DAERA”.

Mert Thompson from NIEA’s Catchment team within DAERA added “DAERA is delighted to fund and look forward to working on this exciting project being delivered by Sea2it. This project is delivering on two of our key priorities – the improvement of habitats, and the quality of our coastal waters. Sea2it are able to deliver on these priorities in a fun and healthy way that will undoubtedly increase participants understanding and appreciation of the natural environment.”

Read the full press release here…