Much needed funding for lough

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RSPB NI has been awarded £50,000 as part of the latest round of funding from the Alpha Programme, managed by Groundwork NI, and the funding will go towards the enhancement of the wet grassland habitat at Portmore Lough in Aghalee.

Portmore Lough is managed as a key recovery area for lapwings and other breeding wading birds in Northern Ireland.

The project aims to enhance the breeding and feeding areas for these birds through extending the area of open water and creating further shallow pools. The work will also include erecting 1.2km of predator-proof fencing.

Donnell Black, RSPB NI Portmore Lough Site Manager said: “We would like to thank the Alpha Programme and Groundwork NI for this funding, which will be a huge boost to our Portmore Lough reserve.

“It will enable us to undertake ecological works this year that would, otherwise have been in small stages over a much longer period.

“Works including increasing the water surface area and enhancing the existing fencing infrastructure will benefit breeding waders, including lapwings, redshanks and snipe, Irish lady’s-tresses orchids, Irish hares and a range of breeding species at Portmore.”

RSPB NI anticipates that these works will protect ground-nesting sites.