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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo





Sep 2017 right left


To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Coca–Cola Coast Care Awards, Live Here Love Here are calling for you to nominate your Coastal and Inland Waterway Hero!

Friday 1st September

Castlerock Walk Fest

Saturday 2nd September
Downhill Demesne and Hezlett House

Car Bazaar

Saturday 2nd September
Mount Stewart
Car £5, Van £10, Trailer £15

Autumn Book Fair at The Argory

Saturday 2nd September
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

Bushcraft for Beginners

Saturday 2nd September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£35 including a packed lunch

Rea’s Wood – Removal of Sycamore Trees in Wet–woodland

Sunday 3rd September
Rea’s Wood Antrim


Ards Beach Cleaning

Saturday 9th September
Strangford Lough meet at Portaferry
No Charge

NI Environment Week – Benburb Castle

Saturday 9th September
Benburb Castle

NI Environment Week – Picnic with nature at Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – The Park After Dark – Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – Walk on the wild side – Creggan Country Park

Saturday 9th September
Creggan Country Park


NI Environment Week – Brexit: The Future of the Environment in NI

Monday 11th September
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre


NI Environment Week – Batty about bats!

Wednesday 13th September
Rathfern Community Centre, Knockenagh Avenue, Carnmoney

NI Environment Week – Get your hands dirty!

Thursday 14th September

NI Environment Week – Creggan Heritage Trail for 50+ groups

Thursday 14th September
Creggan Country Park

NI Environment Week – Power from the Planet – Creggan Country Park

Friday 15th September
Creggan Country Park

Hedge Fun

Saturday 16th September
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Wildlife Tracking

Saturday 16th September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
£45 including lunch

NI Environment Week – Food from the Hills, Colin Allotments Healthy Living Centre

Saturday 16th September
Colin Allotments Healthy Living Centre
£5 per person (Belfast Hills Friends discounted rate of £3)

MCS Beachwatch

Sunday 17th September
Murlough NNR
No Charge

Foraging for Wild Foods and Medicine

Sunday 17th September
Tollymore Field Studies Centre

Killard Point near Strangford – Beachwatch

Sunday 17th September
Killard Point


Blue Opportunities: The Marine Economy in the NPA

Thursday 21st September
Marine Institute, Rinville West, Oranmore, Galway


Jazz in the Garden at Mount Stewart

Sunday 24th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free


Brexit: Debating the Way Forward for Agriculture and the Environment in Northern Ireland

Friday 29th September
CAFRE, Greenmount Campus, 45 Tirgracy Rd, BT41 4PS

Red Squirrel Day

Saturday 30th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

Tea Blending

Saturday 30th September
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free


Social Investment Pilot launched 12 April 2017

Northern Ireland Environment Link (NIEL) is pleased to announce the launch of a pilot mentoring programme to provide targeted advice and practical support to a limited number of organisations within the heritage and environment sector



Background to the Programme

In 2016, with the support of the Building Change Trust, NIEL commissioned research to consider new means and methods of developing the financial resilience of the heritage/environment NGO sector in Northern Ireland. This research explored the potential for social investment to support the activity of the sector. The research was undertaken by New Philanthropy Capital, who produced a report indicating a genuine interest from the sector in this type of finance and identified a number of significant barriers.

It is understood that the heritage and environment sector, traditionally, has had a high dependence on government and public funding. Given current public funding austerity, there is a need to increase the capacity of the sector to identify and earn unrestricted income and, specifically, to explore social finance as a new source of funding. Organisations are feeling pressure to diversify investment and assess how “investment–ready” or “attractive” they are to potential investors.

This pilot programme will build upon the work of the HLF Catalyst Umbrella Programme, “Investing in Northern Ireland’s Heritage” which is designed and delivered by NIEL, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

About the Programme Deliverers

Chief Officers 3rd Sector (CO3) and the Ulster University’s Business Institute, part of the Business School will jointly partner to deliver NIEL’s Social Investment pilot Mentoring programme for the Heritage/Environment sector.

The Ulster University’s Business Institute has a national and international reputation for excellence, innovation and regional engagement and continues to make a major contribution to the economic, social and cultural development of Northern Ireland.

CO3 is a leading membership based organisation that focuses on supporting, developing and connecting Third Sector leaders in NI.

Together, these organisations have the knowledge, skills and proven track record in the design and delivery of highly effective mentoring programmes to support both personal and organisational development.

What is Mentoring?

Mentoring is a fantastic leadership development service that enables individuals to benefit from the experience and knowledge of their peers. This programme is aimed at supporting the key individual responsible for diversifying investment within their organisation. This programme will increase the capacity of the individual Mentee as well as providing enhanced support to the organisation.

About this pilot programme

The approach of this pilot programme is focused on building capacity through providing external advice and support. A qualified mentor will be assigned to assess an organisation; discuss options for improving their “investment readiness”; gain an understanding of their available sources of income; identify social investment opportunities, products, tools and resources; and provide business planning and financial management advice and support.

The pilot programme will last for six months and will offer one–to–one mentoring advice and support to these organisations in the following areas:

  • Investment Readiness Assessment
  • Business Planning advice and support for a project/programme
  • Financial Management
  • Social Investment products, tools and resources available

Who is the programme for?

This programme is designed for a range of organisations from the heritage and environment sector; from those organisations that are already investment ready and have a strong business idea identified that would suit social finance, to other organisations who are just beginning the process to become eligible to apply for social finance.

The programme will support a key individual in the organisation who is tasked on leading on investment readiness for the organisation.

NI Environment Link will be looking for participants who can demonstrate amongst other things:

  • The organisation is from the Environment or Heritage Sector
  • The organisation has genuine interest and commitment to Social Investment readiness
  • The organisation has a genuine need for support in this area

As this is a pilot programme, some other desirable criteria may be applied by NIEL in order to make their final selection so that a good range of impact can be demonstrated this may include organisational turnover, sub sector and the support request from the organisations.

What is the time commitment?

The pilot programme will last for six months and we will ask mentees to meet approximately every 4 weeks over the period with their mentor.

How to Apply

Interested organisations can apply for one of the limited places on the pilot mentoring scheme by completing the attached application form.

Completed Application forms should be emailed to Tracey McCreanor at

Closing Date for receipt of applications is: Monday 24th April 2017 at 2:30pm

If you are successful* you will be provided with all the training, information and materials required. The programme will formally start in May with an induction session on Wednesday 3rd May at 10:30am.

*As we can only support a small number on this pilot programme, we are delighted to also offer other organisations the chance to attend the Social Invest Clinic on the morning of 20th June 2017. More details on this will follow.