An Action Plan to protect and promote Fermanagh’s biodiversity was launched on the 25th September 2008 in the Clinton Centre, Enniskillen, with help from local television presenter and nature enthusiast, Darryl Grimason.
Biodiversity simply means the total variety of all living things; it includes everything from the smallest insect to the tallest tree and the habitats in which they live.
The Fermanagh Local Biodiversity Action Plan document, developed by the Ulster Wildlife Trust in partnership with Fermanagh District Council, celebrates the wealth of biodiversity present within the County and recommends actions required to conserve and enhance this biodiversity resource for both present and future generations.
Guest speaker, Darryl Grimason, joined Peter Archdale from the Ulster Wildlife Trust and Councillor Frank Britton, Chairman of Fermanagh District Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, in commending the Plan as a ‘significant step towards the conservation of Fermanagh’s biodiversity’.
Wetlands, woodland, bogs and heath and unique calcareous habitats, are just some of the 19 habitats selected for local conservation action, together with fifteen species including the rare blue-eyed grass, dingy skipper butterfly and Arctic charr, whose only population in Northern Ireland is in Fermanagh.
Speaking at the Launch, Councillor Frank Britton said: “Fermanagh is renowned for its remarkable natural heritage, from its wonderful array of habitats and species, to the amount and extent of protected areas, which are of European and International importance. Indeed, biodiversity is an integral component of this County, its people and our economy, with many local livelihoods such as farming, fishing and tourism depending upon it.
“This Action Plan is a demonstration of our commitment to help protect and enhance our unique biodiversity resource for the future, but if it is to be a success, we must work together to achieve its goals.”
Emma McLaughlin, Fermanagh Biodiversity Officer, echoed the Councillor’s sentiments: “Now that the local priority habitats and species have been selected and associated Action Plans have been prepared, we need local people to lend their support and get involved by doing something positive for biodiversity in their area. There are so many ways you can help from gardening with wildlife in mind or helping survey under-recorded species, to getting stuck into a biodiversity enhancement project in your area.”
An example of one such initiative is the recent wildlife gardening competition that was organised to encourage the creation of attractive and welcoming gardens, for both wildlife and people. The winners were presented with their prizes at the event by Darryl Grimason.
Emma praised the winners for their efforts, “This is a wonderful demonstration of the positive steps people can take towards improving the biodiversity of the County. As today’s prize winners have shown, by making simple changes such as putting up nest-boxes, planting native trees or composting, we can make a huge difference to wildlife in our area.
“Each and every one of us has an important role to play in protecting Fermanagh’s biodiversity and we can all do something to help. No matter what you have in mind, support and help is at hand, so please get in touch and take the first step to doing your bit.”
If you want to find out more about Fermanagh’s biodiversity, how you can get involved in the Fermanagh LBAP project, or if you’d like to obtain a hard copy of the Fermanagh Local Biodiversity Action Plan document, please contact Martina Magee, Environment Officer on 028 6632 5050 or via e-mail on [email protected] or [email protected]
A copy of this document is available to download here. The file is a 5.6MB Acrobat PDF document.