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10th Jan 2011: Action for Coleraine's Biodiversity

COLERAINE Borough Council is delighted to be moving forward with environmental protection plans for the Borough with the appointment of Rachel Bain as the new Biodiversity Officer.  Rachel will work between Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady Borough Councils to focus on projects that will enhance and conserve the rich biodiversity of these unique areas.

This new appointment marks the beginning of the implementation phase of Coleraine’s Local Biodiversity Action Plan which was agreed a few years ago. The appointment also reinforces the need for the continued involvement of local people in protecting and promoting biodiversity for future generations.

Rachel Bain, joint Biodiversity Officer, said; "Although not a native of these parts I have lived and worked in Northern Ireland on and off for over 14 years in various nature conservation roles and I am thrilled to take up this new post".

She adds, "This is a very important and interesting project, and I am especially pleased to be working in the Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady area, which is renowned for its important terrestrial and coastal habitats and species. An exciting part of the post will be working with local people, from local experts to those who have even the smallest interest in wildlife.

"Through this project I hope to work with the local community to help look after our biodiversity long into the future!" 

Although it is sometime since Coleraine had a dedicated Biodiversity Officer in post, some interesting initiatives have been developing, such as the habitat protection scheme being carried out at Whiterocks, with Conservation Volunteers NI, to restore an area of coastal grassland.
 
Rachel continued, "The next step for Coleraine is to implement the action plan, with the help of the local community, and to build on the excellent work already started. Projects could range from wildlife gardening, creating a wildflower meadow, to projects like helping to identify sites of local wildlife value for possible designation as Local Nature Reserves. Everybody can get involved and help."

This joint programme with Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady Borough Councils is initially part funded for two years by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Rachel is appealing for anybody interested in helping to improve biodiversity in the Coleraine, Limavady and Ballymoney area to contact her at Coleraine Borough Council on 028 7034 7272  / 07738 340799 or e-mail Rachel.bain@colerainebc.gov.uk.