For the last few years, A Rocha UK has been developing new and exciting partnerships with a variety of organisations and individuals in Northern Ireland. The province is home to some of the UK’s most extensive peat bogs and moorlands, as well as pockets of ancient woodland and an incredibly diverse coastline. Currently, we have four Partners in Action in Northern Ireland – with more on the horizon!
– Corrymeela is one of the best-known centres for peace and reconciliation in Northern Ireland. Andy Lester, Regina Ebner and Bertie Stirling, from the conservation team, have been working with Corrymeela, to create nature-rich habitats using techniques that are good for nature and for personal and community reconciliation. The centre reaches out across the political divides and aims to bring together people with widely different views in order to seek consensus, including the LGBT community, Northern Ireland’s police service, and Cruse Bereavement Care. The hope is that nature conservation events will help to build bridges in and between these communities.
-Drumalis is a conference and retreat centre in Larne. Our conservation team has been supporting Drumalis to develop a new estate plan for the Congregation of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion. New woodland areas have been planted and new wildflower banks are being created to encourage pollinating insects.
-Hugh’s Meadow Nature Reserve, near Belfast, is being developed as a wildflower meadow with a series of new ponds for dragonflies, damselflies and frogs. Regular events and activities, aimed particularly at school children and families, offer visitors opportunities to enjoy the wildlife of this 12 acre site, and inspire local action for nature. Hugh’s Meadow hosted one of our Act for Nature days earlier this year, and saw people from across the country join in to learn about creating wildflower meadows and campaigning for nature.
– The River Rectory joined us as a Partner in Action just this last week. This small family holding focuses on reconnecting the community to nature through sustainable farming. Owned and managed by the Pomeroy family (mum, dad and seven children), the site is an incredible mixture of six acres of woodland, food-growing areas, orchards and wet grassland.
With support from our Northern Ireland Manager, Bertie Stirling, there are likely to be at least two more initiatives in the province over the next year. For more information on our work in Northern Ireland or to get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.