‘Learning in the Landscape’ celebrate World Rivers’ Day

IN recognition of World Rivers’ Day, participants from The Riverine Environmental Project celebrated the biodiversity found on the banks of the River Derg last week.
This PEACE IV funded project, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB), is designed to enable people from different backgrounds to come together to discover, explore and protect their local environment.
This element of the project is called ‘Learning in the Landscape’ and is delivered by Butterlope Farm.
The programme aims to connect its participants to the landscape through accredited Heritage training, the LANTRA Riverine Heritage Course, a ‘Growing Together Course’ where participants learn to grow their own food and live more sustainably and there is also a kids ‘Saturday Club’ that encourages them to explore the many wild sites in the Riverine area while making new friends. 
The Riverine Heritage Group and the children’s Saturday Club were both in attendance at Derg Castle Park, working in small groups outside.
The adults learned about wildflower meadow creation and management with Butterfly Conservation NI, while the Saturday Club’s session involved getting back to nature with Far and Wild and stream sampling close to the River Derg.
Like with all aspects of life at the moment, the different programmes have had to adapt to ensure that they are following current Covid-19 restriction guidelines. 
These included smaller group sizes, split locations and increased hand washing.
Since the beginning of the programme Annie Mullan from Butterlope Farm has carefully managed and delivered a safe but captivating programme that has involved heritage walks, outdoor adventure, home garden growing and important environmental monitoring such as bat and butterfly surveying.
Allan Bogle, council’s Riverine Environmental Project Manager, said, “It was great to come along to meet the participants in Castlederg.
“Learning in the Landscape is a cross-border, cross-community and cross-generational programme that will have a lasting legacy in the region.
“The past six months have been a difficult time for everyone, however, through the Riverine Environmental Project people have been given the opportunity to do something positive for their local environment and to build relationships with people that they may not otherwise have had.”
The Riverine Environmental Project is funded by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).
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