To date we have had a number of volunteer days including various conservation tasks such as tree planting, litter picking, invasive species removal, installing bird nesting boxes in local woods, distributing trees, planting wildflower plugs and many more. There has been tremendous interest from the local communities who are passionate about their landscape and want to do their bit to improve and enhance the countryside. We like to make sure that our dedicated volunteers are looked after and so run a number of training courses throughout the years including butterfly identification, wildflower identification, REC first aid plus many more.
BCW Heritage Work Skills Programme
Local young adults from BCW in Ballycastle took part in a work skills programme from January through to March in 2016 and again in 2017. During these months they learned about their local heritage and conservation. The programme kicked off with a heritage walk around Ballycastle town to encourage engagement with their local heritage. The group then took part in more practical conservation exercises such as tree planting, litter picking and gained new skills in hedge laying by expert David Thompson. Overall the group enjoyed the litter picking the most and expressed their joy at doing their bit for the environment. Many thanks to Rachael Conway and Donna Rainey for taking the lead on the litter picking day at Ballycastle beach and for demonstrating the implications on local wildlife and tourism.
University of Ulster Conservation Work Skills Programme
In February and March 2016 over 40 students from the University of Ulster who were completing a module in ecosystem and landscape conservation joined us to gain some practical experience on community landscape planning and management and ecological applications and habitat restoration. We went to the University and gave a lecture on resilient landscapes and a few weeks later the students spent an afternoon planting wildflowers at Ballycastle Golf Club and another afternoon planting trees at Ballycastle GAA pitch. Simple, practical and effective work.Heritage Helpers Volunteer Programme