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Sep 2018 right left


Meadow Management & Woodland Glade Clearance

Sunday 2nd September
Straidkilly Nature Reserve, Glenarm, Co Antrim


Grey Abbey House Open Day

Saturday 8th September
Grey Abbey House, Co. Down


NI Open Government Conference: Transparency for Accountability

Thursday 13th September
Riddel Hall, 185 Stranmillis Road, Belfast BT9 5EE

Nature Nearby: Planning Biophilic Cities

Thursday 13th September
Room 0G/017, Maths and Physics Teaching Centre, Queen’s University Belfast BT7 1NN


Beachwatch – A Beach Near Strandford

Sunday 16th September
Strangford, Co–Down


Productive Woodlands Conference

Wednesday 26th September
Glenarm Estate, Co. Antrim


NI Environment Week: Valuing the Marine Environment in Northern Ireland

Friday 28th September
WWT Castle Espie, 78 Ballydrain Road, Comber BT23 6EA

Butterfly Conservation – Trevor Boyd Memorial Lecture

Friday 28th September
The Ulster Museum, Belfast


Woodland Management – Saintfield Estate

Sunday 30th September
Saintfield Estate


New vision needed post–Brexit 30 April 2018

New vision for NI agriculture and environment needed post–Brexit, environmental campaign tells inquiry (via Nature Matters NI)




A new environmental campaign has put forward their vision for a future agricultural policy that rewards farmers for looking after the environment in Northern Ireland, following an inquiry into the future of the industry post–Brexit.

The NIAC inquiry, which closed Thursday 26th, sets out to consider the opportunities and risks for Northern Ireland’s agricultural sector in light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. It has intended to gather stakeholder’s views on a range of issues that will affect Northern Ireland’s agricultural sector.

Agriculture is more significant in Northern Ireland than any other part of the UK in terms of employment and economic contribution. Anything that affects the sector, such as Brexit, will have a large impact.

John Martin, from the Nature Matters NI campaign said:

“We welcome the NIAC’s important inquiry about the future of the agriculture sector in Northern Ireland. Leaving the EU will have substantial implications for farming and our environment. There are significant risks, but it also creates an opportunity to renew farming and land management policy across the UK and, through that, to revitalise our countryside in a way that meets the needs of people and nature, for generations to come.

“Changes to agricultural management in recent decades have led to significant declines in wildlife, alongside wider environmental degradation, and agriculture remains of the biggest causes of biodiversity decline in the UK. Evidence suggests this has mainly been driven by the European Union’s Common Agriculture Policy (CAP), which has encouraged over production and associated environmental degradation.

“At present, CAP payments are not driven by the EU’s environmental commitments and there is a strong consensus around the need for change. We believe that farming and land management can, and should, sustain and restore farmland nature whilst producing safe, healthy food, and protecting the natural resources of soil, air and water that farming itself depends on.

“We currently invest £3.1 billion in agriculture policies each year across the UK (£300m+ in NI). We now have the opportunity to repurpose this funding, and secure stable policies for farming, that deliver real added value for the public by driving environmental restoration across the UK.”



The Northern Ireland Affairs Committee Agriculture Inquiry sets out to consider the opportunities and challenges for Northern Ireland’s agriculture sector in the light of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Nature Matters NI’s full response to the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee’s Agriculture Inquiry can be found here.

Nature Matters NI

Nature Matters NI is a joint campaign of major environmental NGOs in Northern Ireland, working together to ensure the best deal for the environment post–Brexit. Created in response to the threats posed to environmental legislation and protections by leaving the EU, the campaign is advocating along three major strands: Nature and Environmental Protection; Agriculture and Land–Use Policies; and Marine and Fisheries Policies.

There are approximately 100,000 members of environmental organisations in Northern Ireland, so we know that people care about these issues. But without an executive at Stormont and strong political leadership, there is a real risk that Northern Ireland will fall behind the rest of the UK when it comes to protecting nature.

The following organisations are currently involved in the campaign:

  • Buglife
  • Butterfly Conservation
  • Climate NI
  • Friends of the Earth
  • NI Bat Group
  • Northern Ireland Environment Link
  • Northern Ireland Marine Task Force
  • The National Trust
  • The Woodland Trust
  • Ulster Angling Federation
  • Ulster Wildlife

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sairah Tariq, Campaigning Communications Officer at RSPB NI: 028906 90851 / 0770 1372 477 /