Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Playday in Carrickfergus

Playday is the national day for play and takes place on Wednesday 6th August from 11am to 3pm in the Marine Gardens in Carrickfergus. To celebrate Playday, children, young people and communities get out and play at hundreds of community events across the UK. As well as a celebration, Playday is an opportunity to campaign on issues affecting children's play. 
Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks, Countryside and Amenities Sub-Committee said “This is a great opportunity to enjoy the Marine Gardens Play Area and for Playday we have a number of additional free activities such as a bouncy castle, face painting, balloon modeling, Punch and Judy and DJ on site.” 
Alderman Beattie added “Play is such an important part of any child's development and Playday provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate it and promote its many benefits. It also highlights the benefits of imaginative play to parents and communities.”  
“Outdoor play is vital for any child, providing stimuli to learn and the health benefits of being in the open air. The range of play opportunities on offer in Carrickfergus Borough is extensive and gives parents and carers some great opportunities to get outdoors with their youngsters".  
“Getting outside to play is healthy. It’s part of a healthy lifestyle. Play reduces stress and helps fight the obesity epidemic in our society today. So many good things come from good play.”  
“This year, we're calling on everyone to celebrate Playday 2014 and show why play is fundamental to children's enjoyment of childhood, and vital to their health, well-being and development. In light of government cuts to play services across the country, it is more crucial than ever that we unite to stand up for play.” 
“Carrickfergus Borough Council has set out a clear committed to children’s play with a mission to create child and family friendly play spaces which will support our young people in building relationships and learning new skills that will positively develop their capacity both socially and emotionally. Last year we published our play strategy for the Borough and the ‘Children’s Charter’ which set out our ten pledges to the children and young people of Carrickfergus Borough and how Carrickfergus Borough Council will achieve those pledges”.  Ended Alderman Beattie
For Further Press Information Contact: Stephen Daye, Parks & Countryside Development Officer at Carrickfergus Borough Council. T: (028) 93358000 ~ M: 0793 9633834 ~ E: ~ W:

Mia Walls, Jasmine Steel, Ellie Spratt and Ella Ferris from Little Einsteins Nursery in Carrickfergus.

Matthew Beck from Carrickfergus.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Biodiversity Summer School in Diamond Jubilee Wood

Carrickfergus Borough Council will be hosting a Biodiversity Summer School from Monday 4th to Friday 8th August 2014 – every morning from 11am to 1pm at Diamond Jubilee Wood in Whitehead. The aim is to inspire and galvanize Borough residents to discover more about the incredible species and habitats on their doorstep.
The Biodiversity Summer School is a free outdoor event across five days and gives families the opportunity to take part in fun biodiversity projects such as pond dipping, mini-beast hunts and bird box building. Learn about the natural world through a variety of activities and games. There is no need to book - just turn up to take part whatever your age. We will be meeting every morning at 11am at Bentra Car Park (Slaughterford Road, Whitehead).
This is the second year of the Biodiversity Summer School (see enclosed photo from last year) which is part of a wider environmental campaign headed by the BBC called the ‘Summer of Wildlife’. Which has a clear purpose to showcase and celebrate the UK's unique and extraordinary flora and fauna.
The Biodiversity Summer School is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our local wildlife at Diamond Jubilee Wood in Whitehead. Although the wood only opened in 2012, the 60 acre site which is the Borough’s newest public park, is already a haven for wildlife and an excellent opportunity to celebrate the local biodiversity we have on our doorstep.
Event Details:
Day 1 (Monday 4th August): Natural Art: Come along on a guided tour of the woodland and collect natural materials to make your own unique piece of art! Leaves, twigs, petals and grasses can be bound together or pressed onto paper to make a wonderful picture or creative piece of jewellery to take home.
Day 2. (Tuesday 5th August): Come Dine with Me: Help feed our feathered friends by making lots of tasty cakes and treats from raw ingredients. Using natural and recycled materials these treats can be left in the nature reserve or taken home and will completely biodegrade. Learn how to reuse household waste to create simple feeders for taking home and learn the importance of feeding birds especially through the winter season.
Day 3. (Wednesday 6th August): Pond Life: What's living in the water in the woodland? From quick- flying insects on the surface to wriggly fish in the water, catch and bottle a variety of minibeasts for a closer look at the secretive and mysterious world of the pond. Learn about the food chain of the pond, how they share the wettest part of the wood and what you can do to enhance their wild habitat.
Day 4. (Thursday 7th August): Build-a-Box: Do you want to attract more wildlife into your garden? Make your own habitat for wildlife to take home. Choose from bird or bat box or a mini-beast hostel, and use a range of hand tools to follow a set template. Learn how the importance of protecting our native birds and bat with instruction on where to place and how to monitor your bird and bat box.
Day 5. (Friday 8th August): Seed Bombing: Get your hands dirty for a great cause. Roll up your sleeves and make mud pies and dip them in lots of lovely native wildflower seeds. Join us for a walk around the woodland, find a bare patch of ground and then... throw your seed bomb where it will grow into a beautiful patch of wildflowers over the next few years. Bees will love you for giving them food!

For further information or for updates on the above information check the Council website or telephone 028 9335 8000.

Woodland Walk at Bashfordsland Wood

Photo from Woodland Walk (on Monday 28th July) in Bashfordsland Wood with Dermot Hughes. Part of Love Parks Week.

Monday, 21 July 2014

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 Friday 25th July and Sunday 3rd August.
Alderman May Beattie, Chairperson of the Parks, Countryside and Amenities Sub-Committee 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 in the Borough (LINK) range from no pain no gain Boot Camp and Body Combat taster sessions to more genteel pursuits such as Tai-Chi , woodland walks and outdoor theatre. We want these events to inspire people to get out and enjoy the fresh air of Carrickfergus Borough’s green space.”

Love Parks Weeks is now in its eighth year and last year more than 380,000 people were inspired to head down to an event at a beautiful park or green space. This is the second year the nationwide initiative has been run by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, who stepped in at the eleventh hour to save the campaign following the closure of parks charity GreenSpace last year.

Keep Britain Tidy’s Love Parks Manager, Paul Todd said: “Love Parks Week is the ultimate celebration of our beautiful parks and green space and it is fantastic that Carrickfergus Borough is getting involved in this year’s event. Green spaces are absolutely vital to every community and make a massive contribution to people’s health. In this time of budget cuts, it is essential that everybody uses and values their local green space, otherwise we could all be in danger of losing them. We want this year’s event to be the biggest and best celebration yet, so we are urging everyone to get down to their local green space and take part in the festivities.”

See all Events at: