Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Love Parks Week Photographs

Blooming Wild Day Out at Amphitheatre Mill Ponds on 27 July 2011

Jason Ashton, Katie Tyrrell, Sophie Brown, Samantha Thompson, Emma Thompson & Paul Browne at the Blooming Wild Day Out at Amphitheatre Mill Ponds on 27 July 2011.

Butterfly Counting at the Blooming Wild Day Out at Amphitheatre Mill Ponds on 27 July 2011.

Phil, Tristan, Crystal and Kallista McClean at the Blooming Wild Day Out at Amphitheatre Mill Ponds on 27 July 2011.
Molly Summervale at the Blooming Wild Day Out at Amphitheatre Mill Ponds on 27 July 2011.
 Declan Lee at the Butterfly Count at Eden Allotment Gardens on 25 July 2011.
Big Butterfly Count at Bashfordsland on 25 July 2011.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Carrickfergus Borough Residents Join the Big Butterfly Count

Resident’s of Carrickfergus Borough joined the UK wide count for butterflies in their gardens, local parks and at an event in Eden Allotment Gardens and Bashfordsland Wood.

The Big Butterfly Count is a nationwide survey that is taking place between 16th and 31st July. Local people are encouraged to get involved in saving our butterflies and help build a picture of how butterflies are faring in Carrickfergus Borough and across the UK.

Anyone can take part, anywhere, anytime before the end of July. You can take part at home, in your local park, at your local nature reserve or green space. All it takes is going outside for 15 minutes on a sunny day and recording how many butterflies you see. Even seeing no butterflies is really important as this helps us gather information on areas where we need to focus conservation efforts and increase awareness and understanding of these fragile creatures. Seven out of ten butterflies in this country have seen declines in the last decade with some even facing extinction.

Sir David Attenborough who is the President of Butterfly Conservation. He said: “The Big Butterfly Count should be great fun. Butterflies are extraordinary, heart lifting creatures – visions of beauty and visions of summer. Butterflies in profusion tell us all is well with nature. When they decline it’s a warning that other wildlife will be soon be heading the same way. So with the Big Butterfly Count we’ll be doing more than just counting butterflies – we’ll be taking the pulse of nature. “

Catherine Bertrand, from Butterfly Conservation Northern Ireland said: “The measures we take to protect butterflies in Carrickfergus result in a healthier environment, not just for wildlife but for everyone who lives here. I would encourage Carrickfergus residents to come along to the Butterfly Count events at Eden Allotment Gardens and Bashfordsland Wood. ”

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Carrickfergus Borough gets set to love parks

The people of Carrickfergus Borough and throughout the UK are showing how much they love their local parks by getting out and celebrating national Love Parks Week, which takes place between Saturday 23rd and Sunday 31st July 2011.

Alderman Jim McClurg, Mayor of Carrickfergus said “Love Parks Week encourages friends, families, the young and old, to come together and enjoy what our parks and green spaces offer. People must never forget that these spaces provide many opportunities for friendships, education, health, exercise and simple play and fun. Let’s celebrate our green spaces, show you support for Love Parks Week.”

“Love Parks Week is the perfect excuse to get outdoors and enjoy the summer. We’re celebrating all that parks have to offer, so why not visit your local park during the campaign to show what it means to you?

“Love Parks Week is the ultimate green campaign; it commands for our parks and green spaces to be supported and invested in, whilst delivering a whole week of free local outdoor events throughout the Borough, visit our website to find out what’s going on in a park near you.”

“Events range from Tai Chi, Zumba & Boot Camps to Moth and Butterfly Hunts and other wildlife events and walks. We also have ‘Picture the Parks’ a chance to celebrate our parks and green space through photography with local experts from Carrickfergus Camera Club who can show residents how to take that professional standard photograph. We want these events to inspire people to get out and enjoy fresh air and fun outdoors.”

“Sometimes people overlook the many benefits our leafy parks and green spaces provide, from physical and mental health improvements to pure play and entertainment, plus let’s not forget the contribution they make to building communities and their enormous environmental benefit.” Ended Alderman McClurg

Celebrating Love Parks Week’s fifth birthday, organisers GreenSpace aim to double their numbers by gathering one million people into parks and green spaces across the country, showcasing the benefits which are obtainable from free, local resources and encouraging further promotion and reinvestment into such valuable, but often forgotten assets.

Chris Beardshaw, award winning garden designer and TV presenter of ‘Get Up And Grow’ the BBC Northern Ireland gardening series is supporting Love Parks Week and is passionate about our green spaces, he said "I spent most of my youth outdoors and I think exploring a local park is a brilliant way to get children thinking about their surroundings and the community they live in. Britain’s parks are an invaluable legacy from the past - many are more than 100 years old – but they are an important part of our future. There is so much evidence now on the positive impact good green spaces have on our lives, be that our health and well-being, our social fabric, even helping the economy and reducing crime rates and the evidence is continuing to grow. By visiting a public green space and witnessing the passion and enthusiasm of those who create and maintain them, you can enliven the senses and help keep these spaces alive and vital.”

Paul Bramhill, Chief Executive of GreenSpace, said: “We are asking as many people as possible to get into parks to join our campaign for continued investment and support for these valuable assets. Love Parks Week is an annual UK campaign, organised by parks charity GreenSpace. The campaign has been established as a major event that is celebrated in parks across the country. Last year Love Parks Week saw over 800 events registered across the country providing opportunities for nearly half a million people to get together outdoors and make the most of what our parks offer.”

Web Link:

Monday, 4 July 2011

Trees or Turf

A report prepared for the Woodland Trust highlights the cost savings and other benefits of planting woodland as opposed to grassland in urban areas.

The report "Trees or Turf - best value in managing urban green space", produced for the charity by Land Use Consultants, compares the costs of maintaining a number of grassland regimes with those of different woodland types in urban areas. The results show that native woodland creation can provide an attractive and less costly alternative to amenity grassland.

For further information, including a full copy and summary of the report, visit

Launch of Windmill Play Area extension

Residents of the Windmill & Minorca Drive area in Carrickfergus will be enjoying a new Play Area extension, regardless of ages or abilities. So says the Mayor of Carrickfergus, Alderman Jim McClurg who will officially open the new extension on Saturday 2nd July 2011.

Launch of Windmill Play Area extension
Alderman McClurg said “Following local consultation through the Windmill & Minorca Drive Residents Association it was agreed that we needed to cater for recreational needs of residents regardless of age or ability. “The play area provides an excellent opportunity for children, parents and grandparents to come together in a safe and fun environment. The play area equipment not only provides recreational activities for children, but also caters for the older generation that wish to improve health and mobility through the inclusion of specially designed exercise units.”

“One of the underlying priorities for this project was to build and create friendships within and between neighbourhoods and increase community cohesion. The Windmill & Minorca Drive area is the Borough’s only shared neighbourhood which enabled us to apply for funding from the PEACE III Programme, managed by the Special EU programmes body and delivered by the Carrickfergus, Antrim & Newtownabbey (CAN) PEACE III Partnership. “The central purpose of the shared neighbourhood programme is to develop neighbourhoods where people choose to live, regardless of their religion or race, in an area that is safe and welcoming.” Ended Alderman McClurg

Councillor Noreen McClelland, Chair of the CAN Peace III Partnership added “The Partnership has been delighted to provide funding to this programme which has provided communities with a real opportunity to unleash their creativity and to present their area in a positive and artistic way”