Fermanagh and Omagh Schools wildlife gardeners reap their rewards

Published: 27th June 2016

Green fingered schools were recognised this week when the winner and runner up of the Fermanagh and Omagh Wildlife Gardening Competition were awarded with their prizes by the Chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Mary Garrity.

The competition, which remains open to residents and community groups until late July, aims to promote the creation of gardens which are attractive and welcoming to both wildlife and people. It is an initiative of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council to support the implementation of the Fermanagh and Omagh Local Biodiversity Action Plan.

The gardens were judged on the variety of features that support wildlife which were incorporated, such as nest boxes and ponds; the range of plants grown to provide food and refuge for wildlife all year round, and the sensitive use of natural resources such as peat-free composts.  The effort put in by the pupils and their families to create these gardens, and how biodiversity is integrated into everyday lessons was also taken into account.

Winners and special commendations in Fermanagh and Omagh’s Wildlife Gardening Competition, schools category 2016 were:

School Wildlife Garden winners;

Winner – Puddleducks Playgroup, Clanabogan

Runner up – Moat Primary School, Lisnaskea

Special Commendations

  • Jones Memorial Primary School, Enniskillen
  • Killyhommon Primary School, Boho
  • St Comhghalls College, Lisnaskea
  • Belleek Primary School
  • Omagh Academy Grammar School

The Council Chairperson, Cllr Mary Garrity, presented the winners of with their wildlife gardening prizes. “We’ve had an excellent response across the whole of the District,” she said. “Standards have been very high and I am delighted that we are rewarding all the hard work and thought they put into gardening with nature in mind.”

Julie Corry, Fermanagh and Omagh Biodiversity Officer congratulated everyone who took part in the competition and urged people to continue improving their gardens for wildlife.

“With our wildlife habitats increasingly under threat from climate change and habitat fragmentation every garden, no matter what size, has enormous potential to act as a mini nature reserve. Each garden on its own may be small, but together they form a patchwork of habitats for wildlife. By making simple changes, such as putting up a nest box or planting nectar-rich plants to attract butterflies, to bigger projects such as building a pond or planting a native hedgerow,  individual gardeners or group projects can make a huge difference to the biodiversity of the district”, she said.

To get tips and advice on how you can do your bit for biodiversity, or to request an application form to enter the residents’ wildlife gardening competition (closing date extended to 22nd July 2016), contact Julie Corry, Omagh Biodiversity Officer on 0300 303 1777 or email Julie.corry@fermanaghomagh.com.

Ends

For further information please contact Elizabeth Harkin, tel: 0300 303 1777 or email: Elizabeth.harkin@fermanaghomagh.com

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