|Ald. McNeilly, Cherrie McIwaine, Linley Hamilton and Stephen Daye|
Saturday, 27 August 2016
Thursday, 25 August 2016
Wednesday, 10 August 2016
Ahoghill was judged by Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) judges Sue Wood and David Jamison on Wednesday 3rd August in the ‘Champion of Champions’ category.
|RHS judges with Ahoghill in Bloom volunteers|
Whitehead was judged by RHS judges Andrew Jackson and Geraldine King on Friday 5th August in the Small Town category.
|Bill Pollock (Brighter Whitehead), Mayor of Mid & East Antrim, with RHS judges|
This is a major achievement for both locations and is all the more significant as Mid and East Antrim is the only Council area in the whole of the UK to have two RHS Britain In Bloom finalists, with Ahoghill being the sole Northern Ireland participant in the Champion of Champions category of the Britain in Bloom competition.
The Britain in Bloom results will be announced in October. Good luck to Ahoghill and Whitehead!
Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Playday is the national day for play, traditionally celebrated on the first Wednesday in August each year.
This year in Mid & East Antrim events took place right across the Borough in Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne, Shaftesbury Park, Carrickfergus and The People’s Park, Ballymena.
This was a great opportunity to enjoy the fantastic parks and open spaces in the Borough and enjoy a number of additional free Playday activities which included circus skills, Zumba in the park, a drum circle, hop scotch competitions, bouncy castles, face painting and music.
Thanks to everyone who came along and demonstrated how important play is to you, see you next year!
Thursday, 4 August 2016
Council staff took to the seas in March 2015 to install a number of guillemot boxes around Carrickfergus Harbour. There were a number of guillemots located at the Harbour but limited sites suitable for nesting.
The nest boxes were kindly donated by Peter Scott, Senior Berthing Master at Bangor Mania, who is involved in a similar guillemot nest box scheme in Bangor. The nest boxes are designed specifically for guillemots and the entrances are too small for other birds in the area, such as seagulls, to use.
We now have a pair of guillemots nesting at Carrickfergus Harbour in one of the newly installed nest boxes and they appear to be feeding chicks. Excellent news!
Black guillemots are a species of Auk. Adult birds have black bodies with a white wing patch and red legs and feet. They eat fish and crustaceans and make their nests among boulders at the base of cliffs, in rock crevices and in man made structures, such as piers. The species is currently Amber-listed due to concerns over the decline in population. The main limiting factor for these birds is safe, secure nesting places, which is why guillemot boxes are important to the species.
For more information on biodiversity in Mid and East Antrim please click here
Wednesday, 3 August 2016
Last summer 72 locations were selected to represent their region/nation in this year’s Britain in Bloom finals, each hoping to score top marks and be announced category winner at an awards ceremony in Birmingham on 14 October.
Ahoghill is in the ‘Champion of Champions’ category, facing steep competition from Lytham, St Pierre du Bois, Birmingham and Durham. Whitehead is in the Small Town alongside a large number of other small towns including St Saviour in Jersey, Studley in the Heart of England and Freckleton in the North West of England.
When assessing Ahoghill and Whitehead judges will take into consideration three key criteria: horticultural achievement, community participation and environmental responsibility, demonstrated across public spaces such as town or city centres, parks and communal gardens, as well as natural spaces including conservation areas and wildflower meadows. Each entry’s final score also takes into account a whole range of complementary factors, from the condition of street furniture to the engagement of young people in Bloom activities.
UK-wide Britain in Bloom groups transform an estimated 3,459 acres, equivalent to 9.9 Hyde Parks or 1,965 football pitches into green havens for all. Bloom volunteers have transformed derelict land into community gardens, greened grey spaces, brightened up streets with floral displays, cleared litter, grown fresh produce, and so much more. As part of their commitment to creating green spaces in their communities Britain in Bloom groups, including the 72 finalists, have planted more than 10 million plants, trees and bulbs over the past year.
James Perry, from Ahoghill Traders' Association, (pictured below with the team) which co-ordinates the Ahoghill In Bloom initiative, said: "We have won many awards over the years, including 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Best Small Town, but were especially pleased to qualify for the Champion of Champions category this year and we hope this will be Ahoghill’s year. We have been very much inspired by the RHS 2016 theme of ‘Greening Grey Britain’ and have planted over 5,000 flowers this year, as well as carrying out major improvement works throughout town including our new community garden. Our volunteers have put in a great deal of time and effort and we hope it all pays off at the judging on 3rd August.”
Bill Pollock, Brighter Whitehead, (piuctured above) said: "We have been very successful over the years including winning the 2015 Translink Ulster in Bloom Community Rail Halt Award, and we are hoping to be successful in the Britain in Bloom competition this year. We have a fantastic Brighter Whitehead Committee who are out planting trees and bulbs and brightening up the town, come rain or shine, and we have a great many supporters and sponsors in Whitehead. Whitehead has a community orchard, a nature reserve, a community garden, award winning rail halt, and of course, flowers, flowers, flowers! We are looking forward to the judging and hope we will do well on 5th August.”
For more information visit www.midandeastantrim.gov.uk/inbloom
Ahoghill in Bloom
Tuesday, 2 August 2016
Bashfordsland Wood & Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus
Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne
Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead
Dixon Park, Larne
Ecos Nature Park, Ballymena
Eden Allotment Gardens, Carrickfergus
The People's Park, Ballymena