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Mar 2018 right left


Hedge Planting

Sunday 4th March
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh

Belfast Festival of Learning

Monday 5th March
Various, see programme for details


Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 18th March
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield


The Rivers Trust Spring Conference 2018

Wednesday 21st March
Iveagh House, Saint Stephen’s Green, Dublin


NI Allotment and Community Garden Forum

Saturday 24th March
MACCA Centre, Omagh

Easter Fun At Monkstown Wood

Saturday 24th March
Monkstown Wood, Newtownabbey
See website for details


Outdoor Recreation & Your Community

Tuesday 27th March
An Creagán Centre, County Tyrone

EU Funding for Sustainable Development – Project Ideas Lab

Wednesday 28th March
Sustainable NI, Bradford Court, Upper Galwally, Belfast BT8 6RB


Coastwatch Survey 2016 14 September 2016

Annual Coastwatch Survey to run September 15th to October 15th 2016 (via Coastwatch)




The Coastwatch survey is a methodical audit of the shore around low tide carried out by citizens. It is exercise in fresh sea air, challenging, exciting when you find something special and the data collected produces a picture of our coast and its health. Past results of this citizen science project – coordinated internationally by Coastwatch in Trinity College Dublin – have contributed to official knowledge of the coast and been included in the NWW Marine Atlas and other reports and maps. Most importantly it provides the base for follow up action on specific site issues highlighted and on wider policy. Coastwatch has proposed and pushed changes like the successful plastic bag tax in the past. The more coast is covered the stronger the data. This year our eyes are set on 1000 sites.

Volunteers are needed from all walks of life including families, politicians, staff on a team building or community help day, surfers, bathers, fishermen, schools and scouts, farmers with coastal land, seaweed harvesters and dog walkers.

What it involves: Volunteers choose one or more ‘survey units’ that is 500m of shore and then carry out a once off eco–audit of that area around low tide, checking it from land to the water’s edge. Set survey questions are answered while on the shore with posters and guide notes to help. Materials can be downloaded or hard copies provided by Coastwatch coordinators. Water quality test kits are also available and the Coastwatch team will help with training and any queries.

Booking is now open – just Google ‘Coastwatch survey’– or use this link. Volunteers can select areas on an interactive map and request test kits to be posted out.

Coastwatch Europe: Internationally more countries are converting to the new GIS on line map format developed in Ireland by Angel Duarte who is now the international technical coordinator. He just digitised the coast of Malta.

All Ireland: Two special initiatives are planned for this year’s survey

HIGH NATURE VALUE AREAS: set habitats with focus on the big brown seaweeds and locations including cross–border Carlingford Lough, Dublin Bay Biosphere Reserve, the Waterford Estuary, Cork Harbour and Galway Bay.

LITTER ATTACK: Identify deposition n areas to prioritise these for clean ups and use the new micro litter app developed by Coastwatch, to get an impression of visible micro litter – like plastic pellets, flakes and filaments – on the shore. These make nature sick and ultimately us at the top of the food chain. So here we need preventative measures including substitution of most offending materials.

Note to the editor

This survey is carried out with volunteer labour from surveyors and coordinators. We really appreciate if you could support us by encouraging participation. We are going to try to get all political parties involved this year with high hopes for Marine and WFD law implementation and Foreshore act reform. Public participation in coastal decision making is fostered if you share real experiences on the shore. Minister Simon Coveney was the first to join us in the Republic at a training event in his Cork area organised by Bernie Connolly Cork regional coordinator. The survey is being supported by the water section of the department of housing planning and local government enabling us to produce materials, develop the new micro litter app, buy test kits and run training events. Our aim is to cover 1000 survey sites on the island of Ireland and the islands off it. There are particularly low spring tides at the start, mid and end days of the survey.

Training Events – Here a list of training event for the Coastwatch Survey 2016. More to follow.

Materials: Survey forms, water test kits invite poster, wildlife, sea shells and seaweeds on request and download. Micro litter app to download.

Photos: Available on request August/Sept 2016: dead seal entangled in plastic rope, Surveyors searching, Minister Coveney on the shore where sewage treatment plant due to start work in 2017 should reduce the green seaweed matt which surveyors and coordinators recorded as bad signs.

Read more via Coastwatch…