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Flying high: Prisoners help endangered birds at Castle Espie

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Helping out: Maghaberry prisoners have created dozens of nesting and breeding boxes for endangered birds at Castle Espie

Helping out: Maghaberry prisoners have created dozens of nesting and breeding boxes for endangered birds at Castle Espie

PA

Helping out: Maghaberry prisoners have created dozens of nesting and breeding boxes for endangered birds at Castle Espie

Maghaberry prisoners have created dozens of nesting and breeding boxes for endangered birds at Castle Espie in Co Down.

More than 30 have been made for the wetland reserve on the shore of Strangford Lough near Comber.

They are due to be placed this year and it is hoped they will encourage more species and greater numbers of waterbirds to feed, roost and breed.

Maghaberry deputy governor David Savage said: "In the last year we have developed a special relationship with the Castle Espie Wildfowl and Wetlands facility and been able to support them in various ways.

"Most recently, during Covid, the prisoners built specially designed wooden nesting and breeding boxes to be erected in the wetlands, as well as a number of small bird boxes for their sensory garden."

He added: "This simple project has demonstrated that even during Covid, the Northern Ireland Prison Service continues to provide rehabilitation, and through constructive activity, promote the physical and mental wellbeing of those in our care."

Castle Espie centre manager Paul Stewart said the Lough was one of the most important areas of marine conservation in these islands.

By Michael McHugh

Belfast Telegraph


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