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Northern Ireland Environment Link Logo
 

News

 

Events

 

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
N/A

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
Free

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Ards Beach Cleaning

Saturday 9th September
Strangford Lough meet at Portaferry
No Charge

NI Environment Week – Benburb Castle

Saturday 9th September
Benburb Castle
Free

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

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

Monday 11th September
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
Free

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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
Various
Free

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
Minnowburn
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
£40

Killard Point near Strangford – Beachwatch

Sunday 17th September
Killard Point
Free

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Blue Opportunities: The Marine Economy in the NPA

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

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Jazz in the Garden at Mount Stewart

Sunday 24th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

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

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

Red Squirrel Day

Saturday 30th September
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

Tea Blending

Saturday 30th September
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

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.