A project to conserve and enhance hedgerows across County Fermanagh commenced at allotments in Cornagrade, Enniskillen on Saturday 25th February. The work was undertaken by the Devenish Partnership Forum with the guidance of Fermanagh District Council’s Biodiversity Officer. Native species such as hawthorn, blackthorn and holly were in the planting mix and with the help of some garden spades and the enthusiasm of local residents and volunteers, a 55m-length of native hedgerow was established.
Hedgerows are a Northern Ireland priority habitat and have also been identified as a local priority habitat in the Council’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP). Hedgerows are an iconic feature of both the town and the countryside in Fermanagh. They are remarkable and valuable for a number of reasons including the wildlife that they support, the connectivity they provide for species moving from one area to another and the services they provide to us such as erosion and pollution control. Hedgerows deserve our attention as surveys are showing that we are losing them at a steady rate through development, removal or mismanagement.
Hedgerows Grow West is a partnership project across eleven Councils in the west of Northern Ireland that aims to restore and enhance hedgerows for the benefit of biodiversity and people through working with groups and passing on vital skills in conservation. This project is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Fermanagh District Council.
The Head of the HLF Northern Ireland, Paul Mullan, said:
“We are delighted to support this project which will equip people with the skills required to enable them to get involved in restoring, planting, surveying and managing then hedgerows in their local communities. This activity-based project will not only bring benefits to the natural environment, it will also help to raise awareness of, and celebrate the importance of these natural heritage assets in terms of our biodiversity, culture and history.”
Fermanagh District Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Rose Cremin, said:
“The Council is really pleased to be involved in this project. These events have a number of significant outputs for wildlife as well as delivering practical skills and knowledge to communities and groups across the County”.
Other practical and educational events are planned and if you’re interested in finding out more, please contact Rose Cremin at Tel: 028 66325050 or by visiting www.fermanagh.gov.uk.