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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Mar 2018 right left

   
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Hedge Planting

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

Belfast Festival of Learning

Monday 5th March
Various, see programme for details
Free

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17

Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 18th March
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield
Free

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20

The Rivers Trust Spring Conference 2018

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

22
23

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

25
26

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
Free

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MCZ boundaries proposed… 11 December 2014

Northern Ireland coastal habitats for marine life may get vital protection

 

BelTelMCZ

 

Three of Northern Ireland’s hotspots for marine life have been put forward for protection as Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs).

The Department of the Environment has drawn up boundaries for MCZs at Rathlin, Outer Belfast Lough and Carlingford Lough – where commercial activity could be permitted but the main focus will be conservation.

Designating these hotspots will mean added protection for black guillemots on Rathlin, fragile sea pen communities in Carlingford Lough and colonies of quahog, a long–lived clam, in Belfast Lough.

It follows on from the designation of Strangford Lough as Northern Ireland’s first MCZ last year.

The DoE is also investigating sites at Outer Ards, the Maidens, Foyle and Dundrum as potential MCZs, but has dropped Larne Lough because the black guillemots it harbours are already included in the Rathlin MCZ.

It will also look at Ardglass Gullies and Redbay seagrass beds after these were nominated by wildlife organisations, but has refused to include Islandmagee. The Co Antrim peninsula is home to important seabird colonies at the Isle of Muck and the Gobbins.

The DoE said it intends to establish an ecologically coherent network of sites by December 2016, but sites such as Lough Foyle are unlikely to be designated by then due to “jurisdictional issues”.

Wildlife organisations have warned that sufficient budgets must be provided for the MCZs to be more than “paper parks”.

Welcoming the plans, the Northern Ireland Marine Task Force (NIMTF), a coalition of environmental groups, said designating the sites will be a significant step towards the protection of important marine species and habitats for Northern Ireland.

Read more…