NI Water’s weed-wiping initiative, in conjunction with the Water Catchment Partnership, is being introduced in the Ballymoney area between April and October 2019 and 2020.
The free weed wiping project is aimed at land managers tackling rush weeds in the catchment area of Eden Burn near Ballymoney. Other partners include UFU, NIEA, DAERA, CAFRE and the Voluntary Initiative.
Roy Taylor NI Water Catchment Manager says, “We are rolling out this new project at Eden Burn, near Ballymoney, Co Antrim following on from the success from our weed wiping pilot at Seagahan, County Armagh. The Seagahan pilot project reduced MCPA levels in the dam by over 75 percent in 2018, making it much easier and more cost effective for NI Water to supply high quality drinking water to the local area. This latest project represents an investment of £20,000, taking the overall investment to more than 60k. Previous weed-wiping projects have clearly illustrated that trust and working together in partnership delivers for all and we are confident this will continue with the farmers in the Ballymoney area.”
The launch of the Eden Burn weed-wiping trial took place earlier this week on the 28 March in Ballymoney Town Hall at 7.45pm. This was an open meeting for everyone in the area to attend.
The UFU encourages those who live and farm in the catchment to learn more about the benefits for all by participating and supporting this initiative. UFU Deputy President Victor Chestnutt is local to the area and says: “The project has been very successful elsewhere in Northern Ireland and has helped to improve water quality. It is a testament to the farmers in the area who embraced this technology and to NI Water, NIEA, DAERA, CAFRE and the Voluntary Initiative for using a collaborative approach rather than regulations and penalties. It is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together constructively.”
For anyone who missed the official launch of the project at Ballymoney Town Hall on Thursday 28 March, they can get further information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting the Farm Liaison Officer on 07803799217.