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Events

 

Dec 2019 right left

      

Tree Maintenance

Sunday 1st December
Gilford Castle, Gilford Village, Co Armagh
Free

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Visitor Safety Group Managing Informal Mountain Bike Trails Workshop

Tuesday 3rd December
Tollymore National Outdoor Centre, Newcastle
Free

04

NIEL AGM 2019

Thursday 5th December
RSPB’s Window on Wildlife, 100 Airport Road, Belfast
Free

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Making Environmentally Friendly Christmas Decorations

Saturday 14th December
South Belfast
Free

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YFCU Members Tour Rathlin 3 July 2019

Young Farmers Clubs of Ulster Members form Mourne YFC and Crumlin YFC on a Wildlife Tour of Rathlin Island

The day was forecast to be wet! really wet but we decided to push ahead as you never know what our weather will do. Well it rained cats and dogs until we hit Templepatrick and then it just looked grey and threatening but on we went and when we made it to Ballycastle it was dry and not looking too bad at all. What was even better is the seas calm appearance resembling more of a mill pond than a fast feisty sea that boasts some 40 odd shipwrecks. The sailing was smooth and although no marine mammals were spotted we did get to see some marvellous sea birds including a company of gannets.

So we landed on Rathlin and waited for Francis the driver of the puffin bus, there were 22 of us including 3 Ulster Wildlife staff and members from both Mourne and Crumlin YFC’s. The Puffin Bus was fab it was very educational as Francis told us lots of local stories, it was non stop laughs all the way to the seabird centre. The seabird centre is managed by our friends at the RSPB and is actually a working lighthouse as well as a museum, but that’s not why we were there it was all for the Puffin. Clowns of the Sea, that’s what some people call them and I think everyone could relate to this name, after seeing this colourful and enigmatic little sea bird. I should also mention the smell for before you see a single seabird you will be greeted by a fishy guano smell, but it was well worth it when you see the thousands of seabirds from puffins to guillemonts and gannets to razorbills it really is an experience that everyone should do at least once in their life!

A spot of lunch was had and then back onto the puffin bus for a run back up the island to see the seals that were lounging about on the rocky shore, they really are big. After the seals we kept with the marine theme and had a rock pool ramble which revealed that Rathlin really does have a diverse range of life we found tonnes of shore crab to many too count as well as lots of beadlet and common anemones, but my favourite was definitely the brittle starfish.

After our ramble we had a little time to check out the museum and the visitor’s shops before jumping back on the ferry to Ballycastle, just in the nick of time, we were only of the ferry when it started to rain, what a fun and lucky day!

 

 

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