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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Feb 2018 right left

   

Snowdrop Strolls

Thursday 1st February
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

02

Snowdrop Walks

Saturday 3rd February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission Members Free

Snowdrop Walks

Saturday 3rd February
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission Members Free

Path Edging and Bird Count

Saturday 3rd February
Comber Greenway
Free

Pond Improvement

Sunday 4th February
Rea’s Wood Antrim
Free

05
06

Rethinking Engagement – A Dialogue Approach

Wednesday 7th February
Holywell Diversecity Community Partnership Building, 10–12 Bishop St, Derry

08
09
10
11
12
13
14

NI Science Festival 2018

Thursday 15th February
Various, see website for details
See website for details

Brexit, Climate and Energy Policy

Thursday 15th February
Arthur Cox, Ten Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin 2
Free

16

Nest Fest

Saturday 17th February
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

Woodland walk at Breen Forest on Glenshesk Road

Saturday 17th February
Breen Forest on Glenshesk Road
Free

Scrub Clearance

Sunday 18th February
Slievenacloy Nature Reserve, Belfast Hills
Free

19

Priorities for Transport Infrastructure in Northern Ireland

Tuesday 20th February
Radisson Blu Hotel, The Gasworks, 3 Cromac P lace, Ormeau Road, Belfast
See website for details

21

Shifting Shores Wave 2 seminar

Thursday 22nd February
Olympic Suite, Titanic Belfast

23

Grassroots Social Event in Belfast

Saturday 24th February
TBC
Free

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28
   
 

CF2014 – £2.2m for 250 projects 12 December 2013

Over 250 environmental projects to share £2.2million of carrier bag levy money

 

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan today announced the successful Challenge Fund schemes receiving £2.2million of Carrier Bag Levy money.

The Challenge Fund has been made possible by the five pence levy collected on carrier bags. It provides vital funding for communities and organisations to develop a number of new and inspiring local environmental projects across Northern Ireland.

One million pounds had initially been set aside. Due to the overwhelming response this was more than doubled. In total, 251 projects have successfully bid for granted funding.

The successful projects are spread throughout rural and urban Northern Ireland and involve local communities, youth groups, senior citizens and environmental groups. Primary and Secondary Schools, Universities and Colleges will benefit from sixty three different projects. 

Challenge Fund examples include: 

• renovation of 300 year old Curry’s Cottage in Derrylin for schools and community groups; 

• transforming an eight acre site into a care farm in Newcastle for schools and community groups; 

• a sensory/nuture garden in St Malachy’s primary school Belfast; 

• wasteland transformed to allotments in Donaghmore; 

• a ‘wild woods’ outdoor classroom for nursery children in Derry.

Mark H Durkan said: “The Carrier Bag levy is very much the People’s Fund. It is only right therefore that so many people across a wide variety of ages and locations both urban and rural will benefit. This fund has inspired local communities to work together and I have been really impressed by the level of partnership between local businesses, schools, youth groups and residents. 

Siobhain Brown said:“This new lease of life for Curry’s Cottage made possible by the NIEA’s Challenge Fund will create an opportunity for more people to experience the enchantment of one of Northern Ireland’s architectural gems. Hearth is very grateful for this funding and we look forward to seeing this project come to fruition”.

Brian White St Malachy’s Primary School, highlighting the boost this will be for special needs pupils said: “Development of an outdoor sensory/nurture garden within the school grounds, providing a fun and creative project which offers a great way to keep kids active outdoors and enjoying the fresh air. This Challenge Fund grant will mean that we can now establish a full Nurture Unit extension for the school’s special needs pupils”.

Geraldine McAteer, Chief Executive, West Belfast Partnership said: “The residents of Fallswater Street and Iveagh Parade are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Challenge Fund for the West Belfast Partnership Alleyways Project. We will now start a workshop process of community engagement, empowerment and decision–making – all at the heart of our project – focused around community garden design and training for sustainable gardening and cooking including a ‘Dig it and Eat it’ programme.”

Welcoming the announcement DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill, who allocated £200,000 funding from the Forestry Service, making a total of £2.4million to the Challenge Fund said: “I am delighted that applications to the forest service stream of the challenge fund will ensure full uptake of the £200,000 I made available for forest based community led projects. I look forward to seeing the selected projects come to fruition.”

Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) is the administrator of the 2014 Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) Challenge Fund. Retiring Chief Executive of NIEL, Professor Sue Christie, said: “I believe the Challenge Fund is ready to become a significant and regular element in Government promotion of environmental protection, conservation and enhancement. The use of funds from the Single Use Carrier Bag Levy to fund this community led environmental work is highly appropriate.

Note to editors:

1. The Challenge Fund was originally run as a pilot scheme for the last two years on a much smaller scale.

2. An independent panel of judges assessed all applications submitted by the closing date of 15 November 2013. Notification will be given to successful applicants by Friday 13th of December. The £2.4million is available for NIEA projects which will complete their work by 31 March 2014. The £200,000 is available for NI Forest Service projects which will complete their work by end of March 2015.

3. Some examples and quotes from participants:

“Ardaluin Community Farm” – Ardaluin Regeneration Trust, Newcastle – contact: Trevor Kilpatrick Project summary – “Remodelling of an existing eight acre site into a care farm for short and longer term forest schooling and adventure therapy community–based programmes” Quote from Trevor Kilpatrick – “This funding will ensure that a community farm can now be established to enable Ardaluin to offer and develop differentiating adventure therapy activities based on study programmes and practical work within the natural environment”.

“Bats a Fact” – Creggan Country Park Enterprise Ltd, Derry – contact: Karen Healey. Project summary – “Promotion of bats, a local priority species, to fifteen Primary Schools in the Derry and Strabane areas through a “Bats in Northern Ireland” DVD and interactive workshop and exhibition”. Quote from Karen Healey – “We are delighted to receive funding from the NIEA Challenge Fund as it will allow us to raise awareness on bats, an important priority species, and also help meet the aims of the National Curriculum”.

“Wild Woods Outdoor Classroom” – Mid Ulster Enterprises (Creggan) Ltd – contact: John Donaghy Project summary – “Development of a “wild woods” outdoor classroom for nursery/foundation aged children as an outdoor play and learning experience”. Quote from Peter Brown – “This funding gives us the opportunity to inspire the next generation of environmentalists. Developing the “Wild Woods Outdoor Classroom” provides young children with a connection to the environment in a way that cannot be achieved inside the classroom. We are delighted to be able to make this happen”.

“Pathway to the Future” – Donaghmore Horticultural Community – contact: Angela Mullan Project summary – “Create access to an area of redeveloped wasteland into allotment plots, raised beds and a community garden of insect hotels, bee nesting boxes and wild flowers”. Quote from Angela Mullan – “This funding award helps us to open up our wildlife community garden and allotments to the whole community of Donaghmore, a strongly cross–community village with a great sense of local pride and neighbourliness”.

“Renovation of Curry’s Cottage (Derrylin) for Community Use” – Hearth Revolving Fund – contact: Siobhan Brown Project summary – “Renovation of a 300 year old “cruck frame” cottage to make it available to school parties and local history groups – for story–telling, traditional music sessions and other activities – and so increasing the longevity of the building”. Quote from Siobhain Brown : “This new lease of life for Curry’s Cottage made possible by the DOE’s Challenge Fund will create an opportunity for more people to experience the enchantment of one of Northern Ireland’s architectural gems. Hearth is very grateful for this funding and we look forward to seeing this project come to fruition”.

“West Belfast Partnership Alleyways Project” – West Belfast Partnership – contact: Geraldine McAteer Project summary – “The residents of Fallswater Street and Iveagh Parade, Falls Road will transform their alleyways into an environmentally friendly space with raised herb, vegetable and fruit beds, hanging baskets, compost bins and pleasant seating areas.” Quote from Geraldine McAteer – “ The residents of Fallswater Street and Iveagh Parade are delighted to have been awarded funding from the Challenge Fund. We will now start a workshop process of community engagement, empowerment and decision–making – all at the heart of our project – focused around community garden design and training for sustainable gardening and cooking including a “Dig it and Eat it” programme.”

4. All media enquiries should be directed to the Department of the Environment Press Office on 028 90 256058. Out of office hours, please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715440 and your call will be returned.