Archive for the 'Wildlife/Trees/Nature' Category

PROTECTING WILDLIFE in Minerstown / Rossglass

Carraig na Ron - Seal Rock

Local farmers, residents and professional wildlife experts turn out to support wildlife on Minerstown Beach

GOOD NEWS FOR WILDLIFE!! For the last 6 years+ I have been trying to get bye-laws passed to protect shore-nesting birds and seal pups from disturbance during the breeding season. The DOE delayed us for years – but now our bye-laws will be going for consultation in the next few weeks.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN

  1. Send me your email address so I can make sure that you get a copy of the consultation document – it is vital that we get a lot of positive responses.  cadogan@enright.ie
  2. Take or print a few copies of this document for your friends as anybody who uses Rossglass or Minerstown beaches can submit an opinion, not just those of us living locally.

see slide show on killing and disturbance of wildlife here>  Minerstown wildlife killed (for internet)

Carraig na Rónta

Seals on the rocks at Minerstown – Carraig na Rónta

 

These bye-laws are the first in Northern Ireland by a Council specifically to protect wildlife. They are a precedent that can be used to protect wildlife in any other part of N.I.. This is why myself and others have campaigned for years to get this result.

 

 

 

 

Golden Plover nest Rossglass / Minerstown later squished by a quad

Golden Plover nest Rossglass / Minerstown later squished by a quad

Similarly there are only a very few patches of shingle along the coast where mechanised vehicles need to avoid squishing plover or other birds nests – these areas need our protection. Information boards are vital here.

Once most ordinary decent people are told why they have to keep their dogs on a lead near seal pups, or keep dogs 200 meters from newly pupped seals they make a point of doing so. Anyway we have 100 kilometres of coastline to let dogs run free!But these bye-laws also authorise public officials to take action where needed.

MEETING ENVIRONMENT MINISTER ON GLOBAL WARMING WITH FARMERS REPRESENTATIVES

Local farmers group ‘Down District Farmers for Renewable Energy’ (DDFFRE) met with Department of the Environment Minister Mark H  Durkan on Monday afternoon to seek his support for the Lecale area being recognized as the UK reference site for energy storage and micro-grid technologies. DDFFRE were supported by Ulster Farmers Union Gary Hawkes, UFU chief policy officer Chris Osborne, renewable energy companies and Down Councilor Cadogan Enright.

Some of the delegation to the Minister. Left to right, Cllr Cadogan Enright with Ulster Farmers Union Chief Policy Officer Chris Osbourne and Down District Farmers representatives Declan Owens and Alan Montgomery

Some of the delegation to the Minister. Left to right, Cllr Cadogan Enright with Ulster Farmers Union Chief Policy Officer Chris Osbourne and Down District Farmers representatives Declan Owens and Alan Montgomery

Delegation leader Cllr Enright said “An extremely constructive meeting addressed the Northern Irelands Regional Development Policy and perceived gaps in how this was translated in the down and Ards Area Plan. There was a concern that Northern Ireland could lose the opportunity to become the UK lead in these new technology areas if planning policy did not reflect national policy. We noted how the Scottish Government had succeeded in gaining the UK reference site for wave and tidal energy.” CLICK FOR DETAILS OF EXCITING LOCAL PROJECT HERE 

DDFFRE Chairperson Alan Montgomery said, “Many will remember how the existing Area Plan was published years late with significant gaps. In particular, it is clear that current regional commitments to tackling Global Warming and moving energy policy towards renewable energy were not reflected in the old Area Plan as these subjects were not on the agenda when it was formulated. This has a serious impact on the way planners make decisions and could affect our pilot project. Planner are only required to deal with matters referred to in policy.”

Gary Hawkes, Ulster Farmers Union rural enterprise chairman said, “With ongoing capacity problems continuing to affect grid connection for small scale renewables in Northern Ireland, the UFU believe that this micro-grid solution is an alternative way forward.  If the go ahead is granted, this pilot could be spread out to other rural parts of the country and allow farmers to create community energy networks for their local areas, with much needed storage and distribution solutions. However planning policy must follow regional policy if this is to happen.”

Minister Durkan undertook to arrange follow-up meetings with the Northern Irish Environment Agency, to see how Regional Development Policy could be translated more effectively in Area Planning. He undertook to see how his department could assist Rural Development initiatives around micro-grids and energy storage and how they could support the Invest NI-backed Lecale micro-grid pilot project based in the Bishopscourt and Ardglass areas of County Down.

News article

WHY WAS MY LAST POST ON THIS PAGE IMPORTANT TO YOU? HOW WILL GLOBAL WARMING AFFECT US HERE?

Globalwarming lecale This NASA diagram shows the effect in Down District if the Greenland Ice Sheet melts and the West Antarctic Ice sheet enters the sea. We become a group of islands and the Ards peninsula starts to disappear under water.

See my website and try other scenarios for yourself www.enright.ie/maps . In April 2013 the level of carbon dioxide in the air went above 400 parts per million for the first time since before humans evolved on the planet. This will have an effect if not stopped.

Aside from impact on the human population, Cambridge scientists predict that over 50% of bird species worldwide will become extinct from global warming with similar impacts on most other life forms.

Help force NI Water to respect our beaches

You can help me raise water purity standards on our local beaches this year by simply taking photos when you are at the beach during 2014.

To get the highest standards of water purity in our local beaches, we have to be recognised as ‘Bathing Waters’ under the EU directive – and need to back it up with photos showing the beaches are used for walking, bathing and family outings.

Only photographs from this year’s bathing water season onwards can be considered. There have to be a minimum of 45 bathers on one occasion or 100 beach users on two occasions.

Beach LecaleRead the full explanation of what’s going on with our local beaches here;

If you or your family can organise pictures like this (bring 45 friends – I am!) then email, Facebook or post them to me as part of this campaign.

Annual report to voters and constituents in every house in every village in Lecale

Dear Constituent,
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy New Year.

I am delivering my 8th annual report to every house in every village in Lecale this week to explain to you on how I have been representing your views on Down District Council and other agencies. I am the only local councillor to deliver an annual report to every house in Downpatrick.

Here is the electronic version Cadogan Enright Lecale Report January 2014

This newsletter can only be a summary my work for you over the last year. My website provides much more detail – see
 www.enright.ie  or search for ‘Cadogan Enright’ on Facebook where I post or log my activities as a councillor on a weekly basis.

Cllr Cadogan Enright

FLOODING FROM TIDAL SURGE IN LECALE VILLAGES – week to January 8th

I found the response of Roads Service and Council to the tidal surge on Friday good in most Lecale Villages WITH 2 EXCEPTIONS
Examining  Storm Debris around houses in Coney Island before high tide1. The Roads Service would not help Coney Island as the road is deemed ‘private’ (this basically means the road is just a track) – the sea wall is partly breached in two places. So it seemed to me that the Council must protect ratepayers in Coney Island before going to the assistance of the Roads Service in other areas – but  they had no assistance on Friday from anyone.   Sadly when I phoned emergency duty manager  Michael Lipsett as the manager in charge of response, he  did not agree, so I have tabled the following NOTICE OF MOTION for the next Council meeting.

“That the Councils emergency plan for dealing with floods and other emergencies will be amended to deal with the protection of ratepayers in areas that other agencies are unable to provide assistance.

For instance Roads Service is unable to provide flood protection to Coney Island during tidal surges. It should therefore be the priority of the Council to ensure that these few areas be attended to first, before going to the assistance of other agencies.”

I spend several hours on Saturday trying to get some bags for Coney Island ahead of Sunday. As of 4pm today I had nothing but expressions of annoyance from the PSNI and the English-based help line that NI Councils were not answering their telephone numbers today ahead of Sundays surge. There were apparently many more like me seeking a few sandbags. I passed on my complaints and these other complaints to council management. Eventually on Saturday evening at 4.34 M Lipsett wrote out acknowledging these complaints and asking people to follow the councils ansafones directions.
In advance of Sunday, I have asked the council to give me sufficient sand bags to fill the two holes at Coney Island  – the first one would take 10 sand bags, and maybe 15 for the second one.
 
Cllr Enright delivering bags to the Riordan family -  Sandbags arrived a bit late in Strangford 2. Assistance arrived too late Strangford Village and several premises were left flooded out unnecessarily, and then the Roads Service lorry left too early leaving the Council lorry with too few sandbags to satisfy demand – presumably we can get the timings right on Sunday – I have contacted flood relief to make sure there is a more timely response here for the next 2 days especially Sunday.
 
Displaying Flooding over football fields in KilloughElsewhere, There were plenty of dramatic images with the football pitch at Killough being under water  and the bridge over Station Road between Killough and Ardglass being partly washed away on the Killough side
I was impressed with the Roads Service helping (in particular) Fishermans Row in Killough

27th November Cadogan passes motion in Council to heighten status of Lecale beaches

As part of his campaign to get EU recognition for Lecales beaches, Cadogan gets council resources passed to support application under EU Directive – cutting out the NI Dept of Environment – When we get our beaches recognised – NI Water will then be forced to stop dicharging sewerage on our beaches and give the Lecale Coast the same recognition as the ‘Gold Coast’

 

Motion Passed on improving beaches

Help Fix Our Beaches

Help Fix Our Beaches

You can help me raise water purity standards on your local beach in 2014 by simply taking photos when you are on the beach during the year. To obtain the highest standards of water purity on our local beaches, they must be recognised as ‘Bathing Waters’ under the EU directive.

The rules say that we need to back applications with photos showing the beaches are used for walking, bathing and family outings. Only photographs from this year’s bathing water season onwards can be considered. There have to be a minimum of 45 bathers on one occasion or 100 beach users on two occasions.

NI Water puting new sewage outfall pipe on Ballyhornan Beach Dec 2013

NI Water puting new sewage outfall pipe on Ballyhornan Beach Dec 2013

This campaign goes back to the downgrading of the new Ardglass sewage scheme in April 2013. NI Water announced the scheme with media fanfare. But then feigned surprise when I raised hell over the fact they had shelved the original plan to include Killough, Coney Island, Chapeltown and Ballyhornan. This damages the development, tourism, health and safety of the Lecale Coast.

 

 

 Bid To Improve Water on Lecale Beaches 1

Help Improve Water Quality 2

For 6 months I challenged NIWater to explain why all towns on the ‘Gold Coast’ in North Down had top-level sewerage treatment, but low standards were acceptable on the Lecale Coast. I was finally told, “There are a number of bathing waters identified under the Bathing Water Directive along the Gold Coast. These include Helen’s Bay, Crawfordsburn, Ballyholme, Groomsport and Millisle. There are currently no designated bathing waters along the Lecale Coast.”.(NIEA obviously don’t know Tyrella and Murlough are in Lecale – which do have EU recognition).

It’s not unfair to say that the NI Environmental Agency are discriminating against Lecale by not designating our beaches as ‘Bathing Waters’ but designating all the main beaches in North Down. The tourist industry is essential here, we are entitled to the same sewerage standards as residents in North Down.

Motion Passed on improving beaches

Motion Passed on improving beaches

In the process of this campaign, I discovered that anyone can apply to the EU directly and get a beach recognised. Thus, in December, I had a motion passed in Council, requiring Council Management to prepare a list of candidate beaches under the Directive including Kilclief, Killard, Ballyhornan, Coney Island, Killough and Minerstown. Each beach will be separately assessed, and the council will be deciding on which to progress first in the coming months. If this campaign is successful then we can force NI Water to reassess its downgrading of sewage treatment in Lecale.

If you or your family can organise a beach party for 45 people ( I am!) then email, facebook or post them to me as part of this campaign and lets bring Gold Coast benefits to the Lecale Coast.

nov 20 2013 Ardglass Sewage Scheme downgrade triggers Cllr Cadogan Enright to bid to have ‘Gold Coast’ standards for Lecale Beaches

Following the downgrading of Ardglass sewage works, and its failure to include Killough, Coney Island, Chapeltown and Ballyhornan – Cllr Cadogan Enright took months of ‘freedom of information’ requests to find out what was going on.  After a 6 month chain of freedom of information requests to various agencies, Cllr Enright finally got to the bottom of why North Down ‘Gold Coast’ Beaches have the highest levels of protection from NI Water dumping sewage on them whereas our local Lecale Beaches have the lowest standards and NI Water can do what it pleases. From Kilclief beach, to Killard, to Ballyhornan Beach and all the beaches to MInerstown – our coast has no protection.
In summary NI Water believe “There are a number of bathing waters identified under the Bathing Water Directive along the Gold Coast. These include Helen’s Bay, Crawfordsburn, Ballyholme, Groomsport and Millisle. There are currently no designated bathing waters along the Lecale Coast”.
It was eventually revealed that ‘Gold Coast’ beaches were all given EU Bathing Water Directive protection – but all Lecale beaches up to Tyrella were not.

Cllr Enright therefore proposes that Down Council Should apply for protection for its beaches under the EU Bathing water directive and force NI Water to stop dumping sewage on our local beaches

nov 20 m2013 designated bathing water a by CadoganEnright

nov 20 2013 designated bathing water b by CadoganEnright


 

Aug 14 2013 Learn How to count butterflies for science and get fit at the same time

aug 14 2013 spot butterflies by CadoganEnright

Looking for volunteers to count butterflies at Killard Nature reserve.

Learn the route, and have healthy exercise in one of Ireland most beautiful locations.

Counting is planned to start in April 2014, and hopefully we will have enough volunteers to count at least weekly to the end of the season in October 2014

2nd August 2013 Big Butterfly Island Odyssey

CADOGAN ENRIGHT COMPLETES ISLAND ODYSSEY FOR BUTTERFLIES 

Cllr Cadogan Enright has highlighted the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ as Wildlife Conservation activity that any family can participate in in their gardens or when out on fun trips to the beach or country.

“It only takes 15 minutes, it would be great to cover the whole County Down.” said Cllr Enright.

‘Healthy’ places should have lots of butterflies in lots of colours.  This year, with the warm weather, there should be considerably more butterflies to see than ever before on the count. You can log onto the ‘Big Butterfly Count’ website, print out ID sheets with easy to recognise pictures, and record your results at  http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/about until Monday 12th August

All the Islands visited and counted

All the Islands visited and counted

Cadogan Enright and his son Cad Óg have just returned from 5 days exploring Strangford Lough by canoe, camping on different islands each night while doing the Big Butterfly Count on every island around the Lough. Strangford Lough is one of our most important wildlife sites, protected as a marine nature reserve, SPA, SAC, Ramsar site, ASSI, AONB etc.  The islands are sunken drumlins, a special land feature which County Down is famous for, produced by glaciers.

“We have family members working in ‘Outdoor Adventure Management’ on the Loch and in the Mourne Mountains, so we familiar with weather conditions, safety and land ownership issues”. Said Cllr Enright

“We counted most of the islands, including one not found on Google – Craigabheigh. This island and several around it were obviously used by geese for roosting at night. It was impossible to count all the butterflies that presented themselves in 15 minutes on some islands. We gave up counting on Parton after 5 minutes when we were overwhelmed by huge clouds of small spear shaped moths rising in the air across the island.

“Some islands had cattle grazing, and we eaten alive by horseflies and mighty glad of the 15 minute rule – this also dictated where we could camp. We avoided nesting areas, saw hundreds of Terns diving for fish and my son Cad Óg was blown away by aerial battles as a buzzard raided seabirds nests on a cliff at the Northern end of Inis Glas while I paddled to Dún Ui Neill. At night there were bats and we had old-fashioned sing-songs around a fire. Nature Conservation can be great fun.”

Clllr Cadogan Enright and Son Cad Óg return on morning of 6th day to Quoile River

Clllr Cadogan Enright and Son Cad Óg return on morning of 6th day to Quoile River

Bad weather and Southerly gales and rain disrupted the return journey by a night, and the Enrights were unable to count the areas around Inis tSagairt properly.  “This was disappointing as counts have shown this island to be an astonishingly diverse habitat in the past. It should be a Nature Reserve in my view.” Said Cllr Enright.

Cad Óg said “It was a really great adventure. We will do this again next year for a whole week.”

The Big Butterfly Count contines that week and Identification Sheets and on-line reporting of your own garden or any location can be accessed at www.bigbutterflycount.org/about