Outdoors: Boost wildflower numbers with Magnificent Meadows

The Plantlife and Ulster Wildlife Magnificent Meadows scheme aims to protect the last wildflower meadows in Fermanagh and Tyrone
Andrea McKernon

MONASTERY Meadows in Co Fermanagh has been recently transformed into a flourishing wildflower meadow thanks to the efforts of the local community and Mount Lourdes grammar school, volunteers, rural craftspeople, NGOs, council staff, pupils and the Sisters of Mercy.

Enniskillen volunteers restored the previously neglected site and have been rewarded with their first orchid, along with pygmy shrews, smooth newts, snipe, sparrowhawk, six species of bumblebees, and dragonfly and damselflies.

Since the 1930s, over 97 per cent of our meadows have disappeared and with them, our native wildflowers, such as devil's bit scabious, yellow hay rattle and lesser butterfly orchids.

To reverse the loss, the search is now on to find our best 'meadow makers' in the Magnificent Meadows scheme led by conservation charity Plantlife and helped along by Ulster Wildlife, which is working with farmers, landowners, school and community groups to help protect the last remaining pockets of wildflower meadows in Fermanagh and Tyrone.


Entries for meadow makers are welcome from now until July 31, with the winners announced in September.

:: For information and entry details see www.magnificentmeadows.org.uk.


GOOD Shepherd nursery school children are having lots of fun in their charming 'roots, shoots, buckets, and boots' garden. The youngsters from the school in the Colin area of west Belfast, and their principal Claire Le Mahieu welcomed Lord Mayor Arder Carson to their garden plot this week.

The nature facility has been funded by the Big lottery Fund's Awards for All scheme.

"This is a fantastic amenity for Good Shepherd nursery school and the wider community and hope it will be used by the children of this nursery and community and I hope children from the area will have great fun for years to come," Mr Carson said.

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