The ‘Keepers of the Lough’ reflect on life in Strangford

UTV is bringing viewers back to Strangford Lough this week, for the second programme of the brand new series, ‘Keepers of the Lough’.
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The six-part series is taking the viewer on a beautiful journey of discovery about this enchanting part of the Northern Irish countryside.

Narrated by Patrick Kielty, the series reveals what life is like in and around the Lough.

In the second installment we’ll learn more about the wildlife conservation that goes on in the area; meet the hardy people who get really up close to nature; and return to Ringhaddy boat yard for a story of a special yacht refurbishment.

Maurice Smyth talking about a boat he's refurbishingMaurice Smyth talking about a boat he's refurbishing
Maurice Smyth talking about a boat he's refurbishing

John Scott, whom we met in the first episode, is out on his rusty old barge. His father used to service moorings in Ringhaddy Sound, and now John has become that boatman. He says, “(My dad) taught me a lot, but I probably didn’t heed it all!” He deftly services a mooring from his barge.

Katie Spencer who is originally from Sunderland, works at Castle Espie, for the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. She is trying to get a day old chick and a three day old chick to become friends. She plays classical music to all her baby ducks to get them used to noise. She later notices that the two ducklings are not going to bond and she takes the one day old chick out and gives it a cuddly toy as a friend!

We head to the shores of Ballyhenry Bay near Portaferry to meet parents Graham and Andrea Gannon from Newtownards. They are joined by their two daughters as they go snorkeling. Daughter Leah chats about seeing something new every time they go out. They see different species of jellyfish and swim over a World War II shipwreck.

Maurice Smyth from Whiterock is in Ringhaddy boatyard to continue his work repairing the woodwork on a yacht. He tells the story of the boat which has been out of the water for five years but has now been renovated for a young man who has inherited it from his grandfather. We get to meet grandson Jonathan Graham and he gets quite emotional as he prepares to launch the boat at Ringhaddy Sound, with the help of course of John Scott.

Strangford LoughStrangford Lough
Strangford Lough

Cloddagh McVeigh from Kircubbin talks about her two passions. Playing camogie and working at the Exploris Aquarium. As she feeds the penguins she tells us about Bacchus, the penguin named after the Greek god of drink. This is because he waddles like a drunk man!

At the end of this packed episode, we meet Donna Warden from Cloughey who set herself a challenge back in January to swim every day for a year. So she travels around the lough daily in her Scooby-Do mystery machine to swim.

‘Keepers of the Lough’ is produced by Co Down based Green Inc., and is sponsored by ‘House Proud Furniture’. You can watch the second episode on Thursday 11th November at 7.30pm on UTV and on catch up on