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Pupils help to launch pilot parks scheme

By Linda McKee

Primary schoolchildren have been creating a spring display this morning as part of a major bulb-planting initiative.

The pupils of Bunscoil an tSleibhe Dhuibh primary school were helping to launch Watch This Space! in Falls Park, which is aimed at helping Belfast children make the most of their parks and discover more about the wildlife on their doorstep.

They were joined by councillor Bob Stoker, chairman of the Council's Parks and Leisure Committee, together with staff from the Ulster Wildlife Trust, partners in the project.

Staff from the trust will help children explore the changing seasons by supervising visits and practical activities in the parks.

They will learn about their local environment and wildlife, and the role of parks in enhancing quality of life.

There will also be two Saturday Clubs running every fortnight for young people aged between seven and 12 years old. Activities will include mini-beast hunts, bulb and tree planting, seed collection, games and crafts and bird identification.

Councillor Stoker said: "As part of the council's Open Space Strategy, we want to encourage local people to use their open green spaces so that they are safer and better places to visit for all and are delighted to be involved with the Ulster Wildlife Trust in this project."

Cathy Bradshaw, Outreach and Learning manager for the Ulster Wildlife Trust, said: "We are really excited about this year-long pilot project, which will involve running public events, Saturday Clubs and school programmes to engage with the local community and Friends of the Park Group."

Eight primary schools from north and west Belfast will take part in Watch this Space! project. Schools from the Falls and Woodvale areas have already confirmed.

For further information about Watch this Space! contact the Ulster Wildlife Trust on 028 4483 0282 (during office hours) or visit

Belfast Telegraph


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