Monday, 28 May 2012

Jubilee Theme to Launch of Carrickfergus in Bloom

On Friday lunchtime Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks, Countryside & Amenities sub-committee will launch Carrickfergus in Bloom 2012 in the grounds of the Andrew Jackson Cottage. School children from throughout Carrickfergus Borough and Community representatives will also be joining in to the sounds of the APEX Jazz Band.

Alderman Beattie said "In this Jubilee year we have just completed Northern Ireland's only 'Diamond Jubilee Wood' in Whitehead. Over 60 acres of new woodland has been created and we will be holding a host of opportunities to celebrate this unique piece of green space."

Alderman Beattie continued "We are also continuing with the Carrickfergus in Bloom Community Competition. Categories include Best Kept Garden for individuals; For young people we have Painting and Poetry Competitions and the very popular Tallest Sunflower Competition. For the Business Community we have hotly fought categories such as Best Kept Shop. And for those interested in showing off their gardening and photography skills we have the Virtual Flower Show. All these competitions have not only brightened-up our Borough but have been fundamental to our success in Ulster in Bloom. Let's make this Jubilee year a winning years for Carrickfergus Borough."

Alderman Beattie also announced that in the next few weeks the Council will plant out thousands of summer bedding plants, many with a Jubilee theme, and thanked the many sponsors for their generous support and commitment to the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative. She also thanked the local schools who have shown such commitment to the Carrickfergus in Bloom initiative. "The Schools Growing Club initiative is a great success and young people throughout the Borough are already benefiting with the link between healthy eating and growing fruit and vegetables at home and school. The growing schools initiative offers students the benefit of practical hands on activities, helping to motivate and enhance their learning experience."

Alderman Beattie continued "In 2012 we will continue with the Carrickfergus in Bloom campaigns of promoting capacity building through our grants initiative; we will also be encouraging wildlife gardening thought the Blooming Wild campaign; as well as the food growing campaign with initiatives such as the One Pot Pledge."

"Fruit and vegetable growing is also taking place at Eden Allotment Gardens. Since the launch in 2008 the allotments have expanded to become the largest allotment site in Ireland. We thank Sunnybank Garden Centre for continuing their support of the Best Kept Allotment Competition."

Alderman Beattie also highlighted the important partnership working that is carried out. "Carrickfergus Borough Council along with the Department of Environment, Housing Executive plus various community and charitable groups are working together to improve the environment of Carrickfergus Borough. The significant improvements at Bashfordsland Wood is an excellent example of partnership working that involved many organisations." ended Alderman Beattie

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Bird Watching with Dot

Photographs from Bird Watching with Dot event held at Whitehead Diamond Jubilee Wood on Sunday 6th May 2012.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Free Composting Demonstration at Eden Allotments

Carrickfergus Borough Council will be hosting a free composting demonstration and workshop on Saturday 5th May 2012 from 11am to 4pm at Eden Allotment Gardens.

The demonstration and workshop is part of the Department of the Environment’s (DOE’s) Rethink Waste campaign. Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland will be carrying out the demonstration and will have their mobile “Green Machine” and displays to highlight suitable materials for home composting. The interactive session will also provide the opportunity to make a small demonstration composter using recycled plastic bottles which you can then take home.

Up to a quarter of the average household waste is organic which means that it could be turned in to compost. Every day items from vegetable peelings, egg shells and tea bags to animal bedding and even the contents of the vacuum cleaner - all can go towards making nutritious compost. Garden waste such as grass cuttings, leaves, hedge trimmings, weeds, twigs and small branches (cut into pieces) can also be composted at home in a composter or compost heap.

Speaking on the initiative Environment Minister Alex Attwood said: “Composting is a win-win solution for the environment and for your pocket. The production of nutritious compost essentially allows you to feed your garden for free. Compost helps your flower beds and vegetable plots thrive and cuts down on the amount of waste going to landfill.

“Reducing waste to landfill is something we all have an interest in as failure to meet landfill targets could result in fines totalling £500,000 per day. I encourage everyone – whether a seasoned composter or someone just thinking about starting, to go along to this free demonstration.”

Jean Stewart from Carrickfergus Borough Council said: “The Council is delighted to be able to host this free composting demonstration and workshop for our residents. Composting returns vital organic matter and nutrients to the soil and it reduces the amount of landfilled waste, the production of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases. Over the last year through recycling and composting the Council has diverted tonnes of waste from landfill saving local rate payers a considerable amount of money”.

“Those attending the event have an opportunity to win prizes including a top of the range composter. Alternatively compost bins can be purchased from Sullatober Depot, 10 Marshallstown Road, Carrickfergus BT38 9DE for a cost of £15 or alternatively you can send a cheque to the value of £20 (made out to Carrickfergus Borough Council) to Carrickfergus Town Hall and a Compost Bin will be delivered to your property.” Jean concluded.

For further information on how you can reduce, reuse and recycle log on to For information on recycling in your area please contact Jean Stewart on 028 9335 1192 or visit the Council website at

James McCambridge with Jean Stewart and Jennifer Smyth from Carrickfergus Borough Council

CVNI helping out at the Composting Day at Eden Allotments

Bug Hunt Photos

On Saturday 28th April young people from throughout the Borough and beyond took part in a bug and beastie hunt. The event took place at Northern Ireland’s only Diamond Jubilee Wood. At the Whitehead venue, the young wildlife enthusiasts took part in bug identifications and pond dipping with beetles, Small White butterfly and Water Boatmen being some of the insects identified.

At the Art Table – Sophia Yohanis, Corey Yohanis & Eden Adams

Pond Dipping – Mathew Kane & Charlotte Surgenor

At the Pond – Arran Greer, Hollie Greer & Skye Greer

Council spokesperson, Stephen Daye said “This event was a perfect opportunity to preview the Whitehead Diamond Jubilee Wood, which opens in June. The new 60 acre woodland has been created to celebrate the Queen's historic 2012 Diamond Jubilee. In the woodland we have planted 60,000 native trees, mostly oak and ash; and created a 1000sm pond and an extensive 2km path network to ensure visitors can view the extent of the site.  In addition, a majestic Commonwealth tree-lined avenue has pride of place with 54 copper beech trees representing the 54 countries within the Commonwealth. We have also in place a new art structure designed by artist Kevin Killen and pupils from Whitehead Primary School.”