Council highlights wetlands in the district as part of World Wetlands Day

28th January 2022

Ely Lodge Forest

In recognition of World Wetlands Day which is taking place this year on 2 February, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is raising awareness of the importance of wetlands for our environment and biodiversity.

Wetlands are areas of fen, marsh and peatland, whether natural or artificial, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt.  They are biodiversity hotspots supporting a rich and diverse array of plants and animals and they offer excellent opportunities to spot many varieties of birds.  They are also important carbon sinks to help address the issues of Climate Change.

The Fermanagh and Omagh district is home to a number of wetland areas which you can explore including, but not limited to, Castle Archdale Country Park, Tully Castle, Castle Caldwell and Ely Lodge as close to the loughshore in Fermanagh and the Gortin Lakes, Loughmacrory Lake and Lovers’ Retreat in the Omagh area.  The District also boasts 8 Ramsar sites which are wetland areas that are on international importance under the Ramsar Convention, including Black Bog, Fairy Water Bogs, Upper Lough Erne, Magheraveely Marl Loughs and Cuilcagh Mountain.  If you are exploring any of the wetland areas, remember the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace to ensure they are protected.

The theme for 2022 is Action for Nature and People to ensure we value, manage, restore and love our wetlands to protect them for the future.  It is important to take action now to conserve wetlands and ensure they are properly managed to protect the environment and enable biodiversity to thrive.  Through the RSPB’s management of wetlands in Fermanagh, there has been an increase in the numbers of breeding lapwings and redshanks with the lough now supporting approximately one-third of Northern Ireland’s redshanks.

Within its Draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, the Council has committed to protecting and enhancing wetlands on its estate and finding other ways to help partners to protect habitats  across the District.  This objective also supports the Council’s actions within the Climate Change and Sustainability Action Plan.  The Draft Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan is open for consultation until 18 March 2022 and you can have your say by visiting our website. By taking part in the consultation, you could be in with a chance to win your own Biodiversity Kit!

For more information on wetlands visit https://www.wwt.org.uk/