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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

Aug 2018 right left

  

Lough Erne Heritage Regatta

Wednesday 1st August
Crom
Regetta race entry £5 per team. Normal Admission, Members Free

02

Woodland Craft Skills Day

Friday 3rd August
Cushendun
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Go Batty

Friday 3rd August
Ardress House, Portadown
Normal Admission, Members Free

Kite Festival at Downhill Demesne

Saturday 4th August
Downhill Demesne
Normal Admission, Members Free

Jo’s Walks: Heathland Flowers

Saturday 4th August
Murlough NNR
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Car Bazaar

Saturday 4th August
Mount Stewart
Car £5, Van £10, Trailer £15

Lazy Sundays at The Argory

Sunday 5th August
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free

Summer Music Series at Castle Ward

Sunday 5th August
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

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Bug Detectives

Wednesday 8th August
Mount Stewart
£8 per participant

Explore more with a Ranger

Wednesday 8th August
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free

Creatures of Crom

Thursday 9th August
Crom
Normal Admission, Members Free

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Go Wild with the Rangers

Saturday 11th August
White Park Bay
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Music by The Lake – Hand Me Downs

Saturday 11th August
Crom
Adult £10, Member Adult £10

Craft Fest 2018

Saturday 11th August
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

Butterfly Safari III

Saturday 11th August
Portstewart Strand
Adult £2, Child £1, Member Adult £2, Child £1

Family Fun Day

Sunday 12th August
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

Music Sundays

Sunday 12th August
Downhill Demesne
Normal Admission, Members Free

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Explore more with a Ranger

Wednesday 15th August
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free

Wildlife Trackers

Wednesday 15th August
Mount Stewart
£8 per participant

Batty Chat at Crom

Thursday 16th August
Crom
Adult £8, Child £4, Family £20

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Whale Watch

Saturday 18th August
Portmuck, Co Antrim
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Downhill Secret Garden

Saturday 18th August
Downhill Demesne
Normal Admission, Members Free

Lough Erne Heritage Regatta

Saturday 18th August
Crom
Normal Admission, Members Free

Inishowen, County Donegal – Drystone Walling

Saturday 18th August
Inishowen, County Donegal
TBC

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Batty Bonanza

Friday 24th August
Springhill, Moneymore
Normal Admission, Members Free

Mount Stewart Conservations Festival

Saturday 25th August
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

Honey Show

Sunday 26th August
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free

Cruise the Lough

Monday 27th August
Crom
Adult £4, Child £2

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The future of farming? 13 March 2018

Environmentally Friendly Agriculture Policy Proposed in England – but what about Northern Ireland? (via Nature Matters NI)

 

Farm

Photo by R Maxwell

The Nature Matters NI campaign make the case for a functioning NI Assembly to ensure the development of agriculture policy to benefit nature, farmers and people across the UK and argue that without this in place, farming risks being left behind in the devolved countries.

By John Martin

The UK Government has published its vision for agriculture policy post Brexit in a consultation document entitled ‘Health and Harmony – The future of farming, food and the environment in a green Brexit’. The point of the consultation is to gather stakeholder opinions ahead of the Agriculture Bill announced in the Queens Speech. The Defra Secretary of State, Michael Gove, has pledged to incentivise methods of farming that create new habitats for wildlife, increase biodiversity, reduce flood risk, help with climate change mitigation/adaptation and improve air quality.

There is much to support in the proposals for England including the promise to enshrine the principle of ‘public money for public goods’ within future subsidies.  However there is one glaring issue, the proposals won’t apply to Northern Ireland or other devolved administrations because agriculture is a devolved power. With no functioning Assembly since January 2017, the agriculture sector in Northern Ireland risks being left behind as policy and legislation is developed elsewhere. Without the Assembly, new policy or legislation can’t be developed, meaning there’s no clarity on the future of agriculture policy direction for Northern Ireland.

Working towards a common approach across the UK

The Nature Matters NI campaign, which is a coalition of eNGO’s in Northern Ireland, has been calling for a common framework for agriculture policy across the UK.

Our aim of wanting farming to be good for people and nature applies everywhere across the UK. We had previously laid out our vision for a Common Framework in our agriculture policy position paper which you can find here. We are pleased to see some elements of those asks within the Defra consultation such as the ‘management of our shared resources’ and proposals to ‘ensure compliance with international obligations’ which we support.  

This section also makes reference to the economic and social linkages with Northern Ireland and Ireland, as NI is the only place that shares a land border with the EU. It also notes the importance of the Belfast (‘Good Friday’) Agreement and its establishing treaty of North–South Cooperation, of which the UK committed to protecting in the Joint UK–EU Report in December 2017. Reading between the lines, this is essentially saying each devolved government is free to produce their own policy, with some elements of cooperation decided by the Joint Ministerial Council (UK Agriculture Ministers) that are still to be revealed.

As stated previously, agriculture is a devolved competency, therefore local policy and legislation will required to ensure the NI Assembly and associated departments have the appropriate legal powers to implement something meaningful in NI. However, with the current political impasse in the NI Executive, options need to be considered for developing legislation both with and without a functioning NI Assembly.

Follow @NatureMattersNI on Twitter to keep up to date with our campaign and help us secure the best future for our environment in Northern Ireland.