Get involved in the Ring of Gullion River Watch Project

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info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Community, What's On
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is calling for volunteers to join the new Ring of Gullion Riverfly Monitoring Project. riverflyTraining for the project will take place at 10am on Saturday 30th January in Crossmaglen Community Centre. The Ring of Gullion has joined The Riverfly Partnership, which is a national scheme focused on the monitoring of water quality in the area’s rivers. The project will undertake monthly surveys to examine the abundance of pollution sensitive riverfly larvae in rivers, using a three-minute health check with riverflies as a barometer for water quality. The quality of the water can be indicated by the presence and numbers of these tiny creatures as they are sensitive to pollution. Volunteers will be trained on how to sample and identify the invertebrate life present in the gravel and silt on the river bed. The Monitoring Project is part of the on-going conservation work being undertaken by the Ring of Gullion Area ofNatural Beauty (AONB) and Landscape Partnership in its bid to improve the overall river environment in the area. The project will enable statutory bodies such as the Northern Ireland Environment Agency to have a quick response to sudden or severe water quality issues such as pesticide spills. This project can help to decrease any would-be polluters as the frequency of the sampling can act as a neighbourhood river watch scheme. Volunteers will also have chance to make a significant contribution to long term plans, such as the local delivery of Water Framework Directive outcomes. Newry, Mourne and Down District CouncilChairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane said, “Community members are river custodians, they have a unique knowledge of their local rivers and using a robust scientific health check their expertise can make a real, noticeable difference to how we monitor river quality. He added, “Healthy riverfly populations are a sure sign of healthy rivers, which means better water quality for everyone.” The training will be provided in partnership with the Ballinderry Rivers Trust, the Riverfly Partnership and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. This training is free and supported by Newry,Mourne and Down District Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Ring of Gullion Landscape Partnership andthe Heritage Lottery Fund. If you would like to attend, book your place by visiting www.ringofgullion.org, call into the office in Crossmaglen Community Centre, O’Fiaich Square, Crossmaglen, BT35 9AA or telephone (028) 3082 8590. For more infomration on the National Riverfly Partnership visit http://www.riverflies.org/

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