Forty seven young and inquisitive water detectives from St Patrick’s and Carnalridge Primary Schools in Portrush visited various sites along the shores of the River Bann to investigate the importance of the river in terms of industry, biodiversity, tourism, sport and leisure.

Carole O’Kane, Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust commented: ‘The pupils enjoyed a day long journey of the River Bann from Mountsandel Fort to the Barmouth.  They collected evidence and packed their detective journals with drawings and interesting facts about the earliest settlers in Ireland, the history of angling, the impact of water pollution, the industrial heritage associated with the Bann and the birds that visit the estuary.

An aspect of our work is to promote and raise awareness of the unique natural, built and cultural heritage of the area. Through this project we engaged a variety of speakers who shared their knowledge of the importance of the River Bann and the important role the river has played in the landscape, history and commerce of the Lower Bann area with forty-seven young enthusiasts.’

Gerry Wilson, NIEA Catchment Management Officer commented: ‘Congratulations to the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust which was named winner of the Lough Neagh Bann area NIEA Water Environment Community Award in 2012. I’m thrilled to see so many young people benefiting from this worthwhile Water for Life project.’

Bib McCavera, Principal of St. Patrick’s Primary School said.  ‘The children have not stopped talking about their learning experiences and gained immeasurably from the wealth and breadth of activities.’

The Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust is very grateful to The Honourable The Irish Society for their warm hospitality and for a donation of £300 to assist with the costs of the Water Detective hats; Jim Allen local historian who related the history of Mountsandel Fort; Gerry Wilson NIEA; Robert Anderson former Harbour Master;  Sean McCarry with members of the Causeway Community Rescue Services; Stephen Smyth Vice Captain of the Bann Rowing Club and Lisa McCaughan from the National Trust; Media students  Jane Ward and Jacqueline Moan from the University of Ulster who documented the river journey on film; Claire Dillon who volunteered as photographer and to all the terrific and enthusiastic  pupils, staff, Principals and teachers of St Patrick’s and Carnalridge Primary Schools.

For more information on this project or on any of the work of the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust contact


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