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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

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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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Biodiversity

Biodiversity refers to all living things and includes all animal and plant life, wildlife habitats and genetic variations within species.

Biodiversity

According to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency our biodiversity includes:

  • 22 land mammals, 2 species of seal and up to 12 species of whales and dolphins
  • Well over 200 bird species (not including sightings of rare and vagrant species)
  • 11 native species of freshwater fish, including the Pollan, not found anywhere else in Europe
  • Our sole reptile (the common lizard) and 2 amphibians (common frog and smooth newt)
  • Tens of thousands of marine and terrestrial invertebrates (including almost 500 species of butterflies and moths)
  • Around 1100 species of wild plants and trees
  • Countless mosses, ferns, algae, fungi and micro–organisms, and habitats

Yet like other parts of the World our biodiversity is under threat. In response, Government produced its first Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy (NIBS) in September 2002 and an interdepartmental Biodiversity Group was also established in 2004 to ensure co–ordination of the work of all departments and agencies in delivery of biodiversity recovery. 

NIEL provides a secretariat service to the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Group (NIBG). The role of NIBG is to coordinate and monitor the implementation of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy and its associated action programmes. With representation from farming, fishing, industry, conservation and local authority sectors the group works to promote biodiversity in the community and reports on progress towards halting biodiversity loss every 3 years. In addition to providing the secretariat to NIBG, NIEL is also part of a cross–sectoral partnership actively contributing to the development of a new Biodiversity Strategy for Northern Ireland to ensure that we have a coherent and targeted strategy to address biodiversity loss.

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Examples of invasive alien species include Japanese knotweed, floating pennywort and Zebra mussels.

To date the Northern Ireland Environment Agency has declared a total of 360 Areas of Special Scientific Interest, 6.7% of the NI land mass, 104,861 acres, with an ambition to declare 440 by 2016.

Some habitats are particularly vulnerable to climate change; the risks are clearest for montane habitats (to increased temperature), wetlands (to changes in water availability) and coastal habitats (to sea–level rise).

There is strong evidence that climate change is already affecting UK biodiversity. Impacts are expected to increase as the magnitude of climate change increases.

There are currently 65 U.K. Priority Habitats, with 51 of these in Northern Ireland.

There are currently 481 Priority Species in Northern Ireland.

Since the 1950s, 41,000 hectares of countryside has been lost to urban development, with an unquantified loss of biodiversity.

The total land area of Northern Ireland is 14,160 km2 (1,416,000 ha). Approximately 6.6% of the land area of Northern Ireland is designated as ASSI for nature conservation, including earth science interest.

The total area of sea (below mean low water) which had been designated by the end of 2005 is estimated at 26,032 ha. This figure includes an area of open sea (approx. 1,095 ha) of Strangford Lough Marine Nature Reserve which is not covered by any other designation.

The rate of habitat and biodiversity loss has slowed and protection has increased with over 100,000 hectares declared as Areas of Special Scientific Interest.

Over two–thirds (708) of 1,031 features assessed within areas of special scientific interest in Northern Ireland are in a favourable condition.

Between 1994/95 and 2010/11 the total wetland bird population is estimated to have decreased by 23%. Coastal populations declined by 4% while freshwater populations declined by 54%.

Adult common seal populations at Strangford Lough have fluctuated over recent years, but the 2012 adult population of 202 was above the average for the last ten years (199). The highest population recorded at Strangford Lough in the last ten years (288) was recorded in 2003.