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News

 

Events

 

Nov 2018 right left

   
01
02

The Big Sweep

Saturday 3rd November
North Road steps or Billy Neill crossing on The Comber Greenway
N/A

Hedge Maintenance

Sunday 4th November
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co–Armagh
N/A

05
06
07

Green Key Eco–certification for the hospitality industry

Thursday 8th November
Allstate NI Belfast, 10 Mays Meadow, Belfast BT1 3PH
Free

09

BTO Northern Ireland Birdwatchers’ Conference 2018

Saturday 10th November
Lough Neagh Discovery Centre
£23 per person if you book and pay by 31 October and £25 after that date

11

Webinar – The Sustainable Development Goals in Action: Better Retail, Better World

Monday 12th November
Online
Free

13
14
15
16
17

Scrub Clearance

Sunday 18th November
Slievenacloy Nature Reserve, Belfast Hills
No Charge

Family Festive Film Fun

Sunday 18th November
Rowallen Garden
Adult £7.00, Child £3.50, Family £17.50

Agriculture & Animal Welfare Post–Brexit

Monday 19th November
Leigh Day, Priory House, 25 St John’s Lane, London EC1M 4LB
Free

20
21
22
23

Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday 24th November
Castle Ward
Normal Admission

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30
 
 

Where are all the conkers? 6 September 2018

Schools are back: but where are all the conkers?

Schools across Northern Ireland have reopened their doors, but a traditional childhood favourite – the conker – is missing from the trees. The Woodland Trust claims the sizzling summer heatwave and prolonged drought has caused a delay, right across the UK, to this popular first sign of autumn.

According to the Trust’s Nature’s Calendar project, in 2017 the first sighting of a ripe conker was, unsurprisingly, in the south west of England – Somerset on 7 July, to be precise.  But this year the first sighting was almost six weeks later – this time in Wiltshire on 18 August.

In Northern Ireland, while there have been some sightings of aspiring conkers – the familiar spiny green husks hiding in the branches – no records of ripe conkers have been received.  They’re easy to spot as the horse chestnut will drop the conkers to the ground naturally when they are ripe. 

By recording natural seasonal sings – that’s the first signs of spring and autumn – members of the public are helping to show how climate change is affecting UK plants and wildlife. 

The charity is appealing for more people across Northern Ireland to take part in its online project, as records here are relatively scarce.  Martha Boalch, citizen science officer for the Woodland Trust, says: “We’d really love local people to take part in Nature’s Calendar, so that we can get an accurate picture of how the seasons unfold right across the UK.  And keeping your eyes peeled for conkers is a great place to start.  I’m sure the kids will agree!

“This year’s unusual weather, with a prolonged lack of water, could have delayed the horse chestnut trees producing their fruit and could stop them from growing to their full potential.

“Although we’ve only had a small number of conkers recorded so far, all is not lost for our favourite sign of autumn!  Over the next month we would expect more fruit to ripen, but only time will tell whether it will be a plentiful, or disappointing, crop.”

To find out more about Nature’s Calendar and to become a recorder, visit naturescalendar.woodlandtrust.org.uk

 

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