Arson on mudflat home to otters, seals and birdlife on River Foyle in Derry sparks dismay

A Derry environmentalist has expressed dismay after a fire was set on mudflats on the River Foyle.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 12:54 pm

The inferno was lit on the Otter's Bank - a sanctuary, as the name suggests, for otters but also a basking ground for seals as well as a habitat for birdlife.

Paul Hughes, a Youth & Community Development Worker, at Enagh Youth Forum, expressed outrage after the fire on Friday evening.

"There was a fire deliberately set alight along the beautiful River Foyle tonight Otter's Bank," said Mr. Hughes.

The fire was set on mudflats near Strathfoyle.

"We would ask those responsible to think about the consequences of this and in particular the dangers of crossing the railway line. Think also on the wildlife and bird life that has been destroyed!

"EYF would like to thank the NI Fire & Rescue Service for putting the fire out. We will be working with all local partners and the Strathfoyle and Maydown Community Safety Forum to address this,"

The community worker appealed to young people aged 10-25 to get registered with local youth services and projects whether that be Enagh Youth Forum, Strathfoyle Youth Centre (EA) or the Bytes Project.

The fire as seen from the Foyle Bridge looking north towards Culmore.