Council to mark World Wetlands Day in February

Declan McAteer Posted by
declan@newrytimes.com
Thursday, January 26th, 2012
Community

This February 2nd, World Wetlands Day, staff from Newry and Mourne District Council and the Action for Biodiversity project , together with hundreds of children from schools in the district will be celebrating wetlands at the Eco-schools celebration event.

Wetlands are unique habitats, ranging from fast flowing rivers, standing ponds, marshy fens and reedbeds. These ‘biological supermarkets’ are a rich source of food for many plants and animals. Indeed, they support an immense biodiversity of plants, insects, amphibians, birds, fish and mammals.

Not only are wetlands fantastic habitats for wildlife, but they also provide us with a range of ‘services’ such as food, water purification and erosion control. Globally, wetlands are under threat from drainage, inappropriate management and changes in land use.

Every year World Wetlands Day marks the date of the ‘Ramsar Convention’, an intergovernmental treaty that was signed by member countries in 1971, to show their commitment to the sustainable use of wetlands.

This World Wetlands Day, Newry and Mourne Biodiversity Officer, Hayley Sherwin and Action for Biodiversity Officer, Abby McSherry will be on hand at an Eco-schools celebration event to answer any buzzing biodiversity questions from school children throughout Northern Ireland. This Eco-Schools Celebration event is a special occasion to recognise and celebrate all the fantastic environmental projects that schools in Northern Ireland are working on and it is expected to see the gathering of an estimated 500 people from schools, local authorities, and international visitors at the Canal Court Hotel, Newry.

Action for Biodiversity Project, a project funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Cross Border Programme will be using the event to talk about a new regional project, ‘Wonderful Wetlands’ that aims to develop and enhance wetlands within local communities.

Action for Biodiversity Officer, Abby McSherry commented, “2500 years ago the ancient Greeks described water as “the best of all things” and today this is just as true. If there is magic on this planet it is contained in water and the Wonderful Wetlands project aims to bring a little bit of magic back into the communities of the East Border Region”.

For more information on local wetland habitats please see the Newry and Mourne District Local Biodiversity Action Plan: http://www.newryandmourne.gov.uk/documents/biodiversity_action_plan.pdf

If you would like further information on wetlands or biodiversity, please contact the Newry and Mourne District Biodiversity Officer on 028 30313100.


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