Newry Mourne and Down District Council through the AONB and Geopark Team were successful in their application to DAERA’s Water Quality Improvement strand of the Environmental Challenge Fund Competition, to support water quality projects across Northern Ireland.
The project will focus on public education & awareness of water quality issues around the rivers in the Ring of Gullion AONB and will run until the end of March next year. Within the AONB there is the Forkhill, Cullyhanna, Newry and Castletown sub-catchments which contain a number of locally important lakes, rivers and streams. These sub-catchments form part of the larger Dundalk Bay catchment (1502.2 km2), which is situated in the Neagh Bann River Basin District.
95% of surface water bodies in the Carlingford and Newry LMA have failed to achieve good status. Newry Mourne and Down District Council are focusing on the water bodies in the Ring of Gullion AONB as 100% of these are failing to achieve good status.
This project will:
- Provide 400 soil samples from fields in the Ring of Gullion Rivers Catchment area. If you are a farmer in this area and would like free soil samples, contact the AONB and Geopark team at [email protected]
- Provide information needed to undertake the five steps to manage nutrients working with CAFRE: College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise. Keep an eye on the Ring of Gullion website for more information on events.
- Work with Queens University Master’s Student to create a catchment map with the results from the soil samples which will highlight hot spots for intervention through support and advice.
- Provide the science outreach education programme – H2O Heroes, working with Dundalk Institute of Technology . At the end of this project, there will be classrooms full of H2O Heroes who have a better awareness of water catchments and water quality issues. We are looking to recruit 9 schools for this project.
- Provide 14 community members with training in water resource management issues. Please contact the team for more information.
- Recruitment and training of 3 Safe Pesticide Champions. Training will be provided in the management of Pesticides. Please contact the team for more information.
All volunteers and schools must be based in the Ring of Gullion area. Please keep an eye on the website and our facebook page for updates over the coming weeks.