The RSPB is celebrating the success of the Halting Environmental Loss Project (HELP) which has turned around the fortunes of threatened bird species in the Glenwherry area of the Antrim Hills.
The aim of the three-year project, which comes to an end this month, was to work with local farmers to boost the population of breeding waders (curlew, lapwing and snipe) in one of their last remaining strongholds in Northern Ireland.
Nearly £1.5 million has been given to HELP from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the INTERREG IVA Programme, which is delivered locally by the Special EU Programmes Body.
Right from the beginning, local farmers took advice from their local RSPB project officer Neal Warnock and have been working hard to improve habitat conditions for waders ever since. Farmers have also attended training events, machinery demonstrations and hosted guided walks.
As a result of their dedication, annual surveys have revealed fantastic results, with the number of pairs across the project area up by 28% in the last three years. A total of 174 pairs were recorded in 2014 and Glenwherry is now widely regarded as one of the premier sites for breeding curlew anywhere in Ireland.
For further information on the project please contact Neal Warnock at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07703 716840.