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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Apr 2018 right left

      
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Coppicing Small Trees

Sunday 8th April
Knockbracken Allotments, South Belfast
Free

09
10

Integrated Water Management and Sustainable Drainage

Wednesday 11th April
QUB, Medical Biology Centre, Lecture Room 2, Ground Floor, Lisburn Road, Belfast
Free

12
13

Our Earth, Our Future: to mine or to mind?

Saturday 14th April
Greenvale Hotel & Restaurant, 57 Drum Road, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone
See website for details

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Path Maintenance

Sunday 22nd April
Bog Meadows Nature Reserve Belfast
Free

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25

Making Mitigation Work

Thursday 26th April
Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
£45 – £160

LIFE Information Day – Dublin

Friday 27th April
Dublin
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.

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