'Hedgerow Heroes' make positive difference to local communities
Wednesday, 28 March 2012
Members of Dooneen Community Association planting native hedgerows as part of the Hedgerows Grow West project, a partnership project across eleven Councils in the west of Northern Ireland, including Fermanagh District Council, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Native hedgerows have been planted and restored across Co. Fermanagh thanks to an innovative community project.
Hedgerows Grow West, a partnership project across eleven Councils in the west of Northern Ireland, including Fermanagh District Council, and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, aims to restore and enhance hedgerows to promote biodiversity and equip people with conservation skills.
Supported by Fermanagh District Council’s Biodiversity Officer, Rose Cremin, Devenish Partnership Forum; Killyfole Community & Development Association; and Dooneen Community Association brought to life over 285 metres of native hedgerow. Sections of new native hedge were also established by Fermanagh District Council as part of the project at appropriately-identified sites at Bellanaleck Quay and The Round ‘O’ Park.
Speaking about the importance of hedgerows to the Fermanagh countryside, Ms Cremin, said:
“Hedgerows are a Northern Ireland priority habitat and have been identified as a local priority habitat in the Council’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan (LBAP).
Hedgerows are an iconic feature of both the urban and rural landscapes 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.
They are also a link to our culture and heritage – often linked with townland, parish and estate boundaries. They physically preserve aspects of our past and have historically been much valued.”
The Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund, 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 the 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.”
Ms Cremin continued:
“The Council is also delighted to be involved in this project. These events have proven to be rewarding for all involved, where knowledge and practical skills have been shared and passed on to enable people to make a difference”.
Further educational events are planned for later in the year. To find out more or register your interest please contact Rose Cremin on 028 6632 5050 or by visiting www.fermanagh.gov.uk