World Wetlands Day event next week

The nature walk near the Bay Road. (2701AQ01)
The nature walk near the Bay Road. (2701AQ01)
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To mark World Wetlands Day next Saturday, Derry City Council has organised a winter wildlife event at the Bay Road Park Local Nature Reserve.

Biodiversity Officer for Derry and Strabane, Christine Doherty, said that that she hopes to see as many people and families out on the banks of the Foyle next week and added that they are hoping for more pleasant weather.

“World Wetlands Day is the celebration of wetlands of international importance,” she said.

“Lough Foyle and the River Foyle provide important wetland habitat for significant numbers of lapwing and curlew, which are classified as ‘threatened species’.

“These species have declined dramatically in recent years. If you have seen these birds in the Foyle area, either bring these records to the event, or report them to your local biodiversity officer.

“Next Saturday’s event is all about having fun. We want as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the day. There will be a guided tour of the walk and there will be someone from the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on hand to answers questions about birds.

“The Bay Road Park is the city’s first ever nature reserve so we want as many people as possible to make use of it.

“The weather hasn’t been great these last few days so hopefully when it comes to next Saturday it’ll be a bit drier and a bit milder,” she said.

Karen Healy, Bay Road Park Steering Group’s Chairperson, said that the location of the Bay Road Park Nature Reserve is perfect for bird watchers living near the city.

“Bay Road Park Nature Reserve provides a fantastic location in the city, to view our local over wintering bird populations, in particular, Cormorant, Redshank, Black headed gull, Common gull and Common tern,” she said.

Gareth Bareham, RSPB’s Lough Foyle & Beg Project Officer, added that next Saturday’s tour will focus on the importance of the Bay Road site to wintering bird populations.

“We will be providing a guided walk along the shores of Bay Road Park, to observe the wonderful wildlife of the area.

“We will highlight the importance of the Foyle for wintering bird populations and key species such as lapwing and curlew.”

This event is funded by Derry City Council and the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme.

Please dress appropriately for the weather, by wearing suitable footwear and warm waterproof clothing. For further details contact Christine Doherty on 02871 365151 or email christine.doherty@derrycity.gov.uk.

The event will take place at the Bay Road Park Nature Reserve on Saturday February 2 at 3.30pm