Over 70 local children descended on the Riverside Park in Armoy on Tuesday 23rd July to take part in an environmental awareness event organised by Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust and Armoy Community Association.
Cllr Robert McIlroy, Vice-Chairman of Moyle District Council mingled with the children, helping them to count and identify butterflies, gather litter and plant trees. He commented: ‘This is an excellent opportunity for children to have fun outdoors whilst learning about the importance of protecting our environment.’
Gerry Burns, member of Armoy Community Association helped the older children to plant shrubs in the Riverside Park and trees provided by the Woodland Trust in the Turnarobert Park. The younger children had the opportunity to listen to The Hungry Caterpillar, read by staff members from Ballymoney Library; have their face painted and do some colouring-in and kite-making activities.
Gerry commented: ‘Hopefully today’s event will highlight the beauty and the heritage associated with the Riverside Park. It’s a little haven that needs to be looked after by the locals, young and old.
It was wonderful watching children of all ages running through the park catching and counting butterflies with Rachel Bain the biodiversity officer for the area. And who would have thought that collecting litter could incite so much enthusiasm.’
Sean McCarry from the Causeway Community Rescue Service said: ‘Following the recent tragedies that have occurred in our rivers, lakes and seas it is important that events like this inform children and adults of the dangers. This demonstration could potentially save someone’s life in the future.’
Carole O’Kane CCGHT Corporate Services Manager thanked Armoy Community Association; Rachel Bain; the team from NIEA Water Management Unit who demonstrated the biodiversity found in the park and river; Cllr Robert McIlroy; the Causeway Community Rescue Service; John McAuley and Patrick McCullough from the Glens Anglers who hauled bicycles, oil drums and construction debris from the River Bush; Ballymoney Library; Bill Kennedy and Malachy McCaughan who sponsored the duck races, Tidy NI, Coca Cola and Tayto.