First Belfast hills talk focus on birds

Winter has us firmly in its grip this week, but a new Belfast hills group has already launched its spring events programme beginning with a talk on the birds of the Hills by wildlife enthusiast Aidan Crean.
“It’s great to get our events up and running with such a good first event”, said the new Belfast hills partnership manager, Jim Bradley.
The Partnership is planning to work on a variety of relevant projects such as farm wildlife surveys, improvements to upland heath management and joint work with quarry owners to improve biodiversity.
“Aidan has not just a spectacular set of images of the hills’ range of winter and summer birds, but a fantastic knowledge of them as well,” said a spokesperson.
Taking place at 7pm on Thursday, January 20 at the Ballymac Hotel, the event is aimed at those both with little knowledge of the birds of prey, songbirds and waders that frequent the meadows and valleys of the Belfast hills and also those who know them well.
“Because of the way the Hills have been farmed and managed over the decades,” said Aidan, “there are many birds which have disappeared from other parts but are still to be seen and enjoyed in parts of the hills, such as curlew, lapwing and sky lark. The Hills are great both for birds making their home and those passing through in spring and autumn. It’s vital that we all help the Partnership ensure that this continues to be a haven for these special creatures”.
Further events in the spring include talks and walks about the history of the hills, viability of small scale alternative energy in the hills and the future of Divis, recently bought by the National Trust.
There is a small charge of £2 adult, £1 per child for the talk. To book or for further information on the talk on birds of the Belfast hills, contact the Partnership at 163 Stewartstown Road Belfast BT17 0HW, at telephone 028 90603466 or email info@belfasthills.org.

Journalist:: Staff Reporter

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