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Explore nocturnal wildlife at the Bat and Moth Walk

LOCAL children will have the opportunity to explore and discover  nocturnal wildlife next month at the Bat and Moth Twilight Walk.

Taking place as part of the 2017 Sperrins and Killeter Walking  Festival, the walk will leave Plumbridge on Saturday September 16 at  6pm and take walkers on a 3k trail around Glenga Valley near  Clougherney.

The walk will again be led by local forager and wildlife enthusiast  Annie Mullan who boasts a wealth of experience in environmental education and has an intimate knowledge of the area living and  farming on Butterlope Farm over the last decade.

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“I am delighted to be able to host the Bat and Moth Walk and offer  our young people the opportunity to explore this beautiful part of  the countryside,” said Annie.

“We had over 50 people on the walk last year with lots of families.  They got a lovely clear night and found heath eggar moth caterpillars   when foraging in the hedgerows as well as spotting pipistrelle bats  with the aid of bat detectors.

“At night time there are often badgers, foxes and owls around and  with the aid of bat detectors and moth traps hopefully there’ll be  some wildlife for the walkers to observe.”

Last year’s event took place under clear skies giving the walk an  added majesty as the moon lit up the stunning Glenga Valley.

“The area has very little artificial light so, on a clear night, the  illumination from the moon and stars is significant and the walkers  last year were amazed at how bright and peaceful it was,” Annie  continued.

“People who live in built up areas often don’t get the chance to be  out in the starlight.

“The twilight is a great time of the day to go for a walk and see  what’s around. If they want, the walkers can eat blackberries and  raspberries from the bushes on their way around.

“Hopefully it will encourage young people to not only get out and  discover what’s around them but also to see the health benefits of  getting out for a walk.”

The cost of the Bat and Moth Twilight Walk is £5 per family, with  registration taking place at Watts Bar in Plumbridge between 5.30pm  and 6pm. It will finish at Butterlope Farm where refreshments will be  available.

The route is suitable for prams and walkers are advised to wear  clothing and footwear suitable for the weather and terrain.

To learn more or to register for any of the walks go to  www.sperrinskilleterwalking.com

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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