Fermanagh Local Biodiversity Action Plan
"Biodiversity and people are inextricably linked; we all play an integral part in the delicately balanced web of life. It is important that whilst we celebrate the array of habitats and species present in Fermanagh, we recognise that we hold the key to preventing further loss and decline of this unique resource" Fermanagh Local Biodiversity Action Plan 2008.
A series of walks is currently being scheduled for mid October, details to follow.
- The Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group (FRSG)
The FRSG is currently facilitated by Fermanagh District Council and the Local Biodiversity Action Plan Project although we hope that in the future the group will have the confidence and leadership to become an independent group. All FRSG meetings are open to everyone, whether you want to become a member or simply want to learn more about red squirrel conservation activities.
A Fermanagh Red Squirrel Group website has been developed with the assistance of South-West College, Enniskillen. Please visit the site to find out more about red squirrel conservation in the county. www.fermanaghredsquirrelgroup.com
Introduction to Biodiversity:
Biodiversity is the shorten version of biological diversity, a broad term which encapsulates the variety of life on the planet from micro-organisms to mega-fauna as well as the habitats in which they are found.
Wildflower meadow © Dr. Patrick McGurn
Biodiversity concerns us all – the United Nations have agreed a 'Convention on Biological Diversity' http://www.cbd.int/, originating from the Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro in 1992, which is managed and implemented by a network of people. This network extends to local government including Fermanagh District Council which has resulted in the development of a Biodiversity Action Plan. It is hoped that the plan will focus action to halt the loss of biodiversity through partnerships, education and projects.
Biodiversity in Northern Ireland includes all of the 20,000 or so different species of living things that are found here on land, in the soil, in the air and in our waters. However, this biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. The impact of agriculture is an important example. Changes in agricultural practices in response to European policies have changed the face of the agricultural landscape. The replacement of traditional and more sustainable land management practices with more intensive systems has led to a loss of habitats where a great variety of plants and animals could live. 90% of our lowland raised bogs have been lost or altered due to peat extraction, forestry and drainage. Few of our once common hay meadows survive. Our freshwaters suffer from nutrient enrichment to a greater or lesser degree and a significant factor in this has been agricultural run-off from the increasing use of inorganic fertilisers and slurry application. These are just a few examples of environmental degradation from only one sector of the economy. The environmental impact of tourism, commercial fishing, retailing, the construction industry, manufacturing and other sectors across the range of economic activity has added to the damage. The environmental challenge which faces Northern Ireland cannot be overstated.
These are just a few examples of environmental degradation that is occurring right across Northern Ireland and indeed most other European countries. The environmental challenge we face is serious and needs the attention of all of us.
Interacting with nature © Tommy McLaughlin
While the outlook is not favourable, there are many organisations, movements and individuals who are all working to change this through education, information provision and management of land. Schools, businesses and landowners can all contribute towards the preservation of our native species and habitats and there is support available for those who seek it.
Your local Biodiversity Officer is a good place to start when making enquiries about what you can do to make a difference email@example.com
. Environmental organisations will also be very helpful and the internet can be an excellent tool to investigate who is working in the area you are interested in.
For example, a biodiversity forum of workers in the field is facilitated by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency, an output of which is the maintenance of a website detailing news, events and activities concerned with biodiversity across Northern Ireland http://www.biodiversityni.com
Fermanagh's Biodiversity Action Plan
In September 2008, the Council launched its own Biodiversity Action Plan, in partnership with the Ulster Wildlife Trust. The plan outlines the variety of species and habitats to be found in the council area, the threats that face them and importantly the habitats and species targeted for action. You can download a copy of the action plan at http://www.fermanagh.gov.uk/pubuploads/
or request a copy from the Biodiversity Officer.
The Council has a biodiversity officer in post to focus on the implementation of the Biodiversity Action Plan with particular emphasis on practical action. If you would like to input into this, have project ideas or questions on biodiversity issues, please contact her:
Fermanagh District Council
2 Town hall Street,
Telephone (028) 6632 5050
Facsimile (028) 6632 2024
2010 International Year of Biodiversity http://www.cbd.int/2010/welcome/
Biodiversity - Its in our nature http://www.biodiversityni.com/
Northern Ireland Environment Agency http://www.ni-environment.gov.uk/
Invasive Species Ireland http://www.invasivespeciesireland.com/