Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Borough Buzzing with launch of Bee-licious initiative

Councillor Audrey Wales, MBE, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough has officially launched the ‘Bee-licious’ programme, which is generously funded by the National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Our Heritage Programme’ and has resulted in Mid and East Antrim working with seven other Councils across Northern Ireland to raise awareness on our important pollinator species.
Our pollinators, which include bees, butterfly and beetles, are in decline so the aim is to improve habitats for them across the country and to increase awareness of pollinator species and their key role within the ecology.
The Bee-licious project will run until April 2019 to focus on restoring nectar rich habitats by running training workshops and themed events to engage participants.
To find out more about how to get the Borough really buzzing, everyone is invited to any of the three events, in venues in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and near Larne.
  • BEE-LICIOUS – BIG BEE BANK                    Saturday 22 April, 11am-1pm
    Through Bee-licious we are raising awareness on pollinator species and helping restore and create habitats. Help build a Big Bee Bank at Ecos.        
    Ecos Park, Kernohans Lane, Broughshane Road, Ballymena BT43 7QA
  • BEE-LICIOUS – BIG BEE HOTEL                 Saturday 13 May, 10am - 1pm
    Through Bee-licious we are raising awareness on our pollinator species and helping to restore and create habitats for them. Help us build a Big Bee Hotel at Bashfordsland Wood. Bashfordsland Wood & Oakfield Glen,
    Red Fort Park, Off Marshallstown Road, Carrickfergus BT38 9TH
  • BEE-LICIOUS – BIG BEE HOTEL                 Saturday 27 May, 10am – 1pm
    Through Bee-licious we are raising awareness on our pollinator species and helping to restore and create habitats for them. Help us build a Big Bee Hotel at this fun, family event. Meeting at the visitor centre.
    Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne Coast Rd, Ballygalley, Larne BT40 2QZ

Be A Saint Day 2017

Volunteers from the business world have been ‘saints’ by helping to improve the environment for the Borough’s community and wildlife, as well as building-up their own skills.
Liberty IT at Diamond Jubilee Wood
The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, has commended volunteers who came out in support of the innovative ‘Be a Saint Day’, a Business in the Community initiative which takes place each year on the 16 March.
Cllr Wales said: “Be a Saint Day’ is a Business in the Community initiative, in partnership with Volunteer Now and sponsored by food retailer, Spar, and is an annual day of volunteering which encourages employers to release their employees for a day to get involved in practical tasks.
“Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has wholeheartedly supported the initiative for the last number of years. This year, we had a great number of hardworking volunteers out in our green spaces across the Borough, and I would personally like to thank them for their time and efforts,” she said.
Volunteers from software company Liberty IT carried out essential tree maintenance in Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead and volunteers from Belfast Harbour, Larne Harbour, software company Micro Focus and IT support service Fujitsu helped out with hedge repair and invasive species removal at Carnfunnock Country Park, Ballygally.
Kieran Harding, Managing Director of Business in the Community NI, said that volunteering is a powerful tool: “It builds dialogue and relationships between groups of people and organisations who might otherwise not have the opportunity to engage in a community.
“It offers genuine mutual benefit - the experience builds skills and motivates employees, while helping to make a positive contribution to community needs.
“It is all about celebrating what can be achieved in communities through the power of volunteers – but it’s more than just a day and we urge businesses that take part to use it as a springboard into deeper long-term engagement in communities across Northern Ireland, all year round,” he said.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Forest School programme continues in Mid & East Antrim

St Johns Primary School have begun their Forest Schools programme at Cranny Falls Nature Reserve, Carnlough. Cranny Falls includes a beautiful waterfall in a wooded valley, a disused limestone quarry, cliffs, wetlands and grasslands. Pupils have been learning how to identify different trees, how to build shelters and how to create homes for insects and the Mayor of Mid & East Antrim recently visited to see how they were getting on.

 For more information on the Forest School programme please click here.