Strathfoyle goes batty for bats, birds and trees

Local young people and residents take part in Enagh Youth Forum's 'Growing Together Project'.
Local young people and residents take part in Enagh Youth Forum's 'Growing Together Project'.

When it comes to all things creepy crawly, green and wild, Enagh Youth Forum (EYF) have been leading the way in Strathfoyle.

EYF have been delivering weekly wildlife and environmental workshops and events every Saturday since the beginning of January.

The project is called the ‘Growing Together Project’ and is funded by the Northern Ireland Environment Link Rural Challenge. Funding was made possible by the plastic bag levy.

The most recent event to be hosted by EYF was delivered in partnership with the Conservation Volunteers. It took place near Enagh Lough on Saturday morning and close to 50 people helped to build boxes designed to support the area’s local bat population.

“Saturday was a great day, we had so many people of all different ages out here lending a hand,” said Paul Hughes from EYF.

“One of the most satisfying aspects of Saturday was the fact so many fathers used the event as an opportunity to spend some quality time with their children.

“Since the beginning of January we have been trying to identify specific parts of the local environment to champion within our community.

“For too long the children of this area, have been learning all about the bad things that happen to the environment and the only time they ever got to visit Enagh Lough was to take part in litter picks.”

Paul said the ‘Growing Together Project’ has helped to unite many different people within the Strathfoyle community and explained how the focus on the environment has helped younger people to become proud of the area’s unique eco-system.

“This place is just full of wildlife. Again, with the help of the Conservation Volunteers we managed to plant over 320 native trees near Enagh Lough a few weeks ago.

“About 70 people took part in the bird box making workshop. We made close to 80 bird boxes and after a few of the local people took them home with them we had plenty left over to install all over Enagh Lough and Gransha.

“At the weekend we built bat boxes and did the very same thing with them too.”

EYF will finish off the ‘Growing Together Project’ this Saturday (March 29). The final event will focus on the area’s dwindling red squirrel population.

The red squirrel event takes place in Strathfoyle Library at 10am. For more details contact Paul Hughes at EYF on 028 71 860377