Action begins for Ballymoney biodiversity

BALLYMONEY, Coleraine and Limavady Borough Councils are delighted to be bringing further environmental action to their Council areas, with the appointment of Biodiversity Officer, Rachel Bain who will work jointly within the three Councils.

The appointment marks the beginning of a process of finding out what wildlife exists in these Boroughs, and making plans to involve as many people as possible in protecting it in the future.

What is BIODIVERSITY all about?

Rachel explains: "Biodiversity is essentially the variety of all living things, from a small insect to a large tree and also people such as you and me. You can find biodiversity almost everywhere, in your garden, road verges, farmland, woodlands, and the seashore, however, there is a large concern for the decline in biodiversity all around the world and it is important to try to address this loss at a local level.

"This is a very important and interesting project, and I am especially pleased to be working in the Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney areas, which are renowned for their important terrestrial and coastal habitats and species. An exciting part of the post will be working with local people, from local experts to those who have even the smallest interest in wildlife", she continued.

Rachel added: "Through this project I hope to find out what biodiversity is out there and what is especially important to the people of these areas and to work with them to help look after it long into the future!"

This joint project with Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney Borough Councils is initially part funded for two years by NIEA and will begin by pulling together a list or audit of all the species and habitats that occur in the Limavady and Ballymoney areas and trying to assess their importance.

The information gathered for the audit will be used as a starting point to write the Local Biodiversity Action Plan, which will have recommendations for actions to help conserve and enhance the biodiversity of the Limavady and Ballymoney areas for the future, and look at opportunities to involve everyone in the local area.

These opportunities could range from wildlife gardening, creating a wildflower meadow, to projects like helping to identify sites of local wildlife value for possible designation as Local Nature Reserves.

Everybody can get involved and help.

Rachel says: "I need help from as many people as possible to make a truly LOCAL Biodiversity Action Plan for the Limavady and Ballymoney areas!"

Coleraine is a few steps ahead with their audit and a Local Biodiversity Action Plan is already in place, so the focus there will be to implement the action plan and build on the excellent work already started.

Rachel is appealing for anybody interested in helping to improve biodiversity in the Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney area to contact her at Coleraine Borough Council on 028 7034 7272 or 07738 340799, or email her at: rachel.bain@colerainebc.gov.uk