Out with the old (fence), in with the new (hedge)

Preparing fence posts for reuse and some old barbed wire for recycling in the Belfast Hills.

Just completed a great morning as part of a team of about 12 people volunteering with the Belfast Hills Partnership.

Two family groups, some nature enthusiasts, a student or two and some walkers who were persuaded to give something different a try spent a couple of hours planting a hawthorn hedge, picking up litter and, in my case, dismantling an old barbed wire fence.

Good exercise, nice to get out in the fresh air and great to be doing something green and practical – it makes a change from writing! Since we were such great volunteers and finished our work super-fast, a group of us was also treated to a visit to Slievenacloy nature reserve.

Mark Simpson, Orla Dowds Roddy and Nicola Simpson volunteering with the Belfast Hills Partnership.

Kudos to Freddie Harris, the partnership’s new volunteering officer, for a great event, hopefully the first of many – it couldn’t have come at a better time as spring seems to have arrived and I have just come to the end of a busy couple of weeks and was ready for something outdoors. Thanks also to Lizzie for the impromptu guided tour of Slievenacloy (and the Jaffa cakes).

We are very lucky to have such a fantastic resource on our doorstep here in Belfast. Whether you are into wildlife-watching or just want some fresh air, the hills are well worth a visit, on your own or as part of one of the many events BHP runs throughout the year.

Lots of frogspawn about at the minute - unfortunately some of the frogs didn't quite make it to water...

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About msimpsongpni

Mark Simpson is Environment spokesperson for the Green Party in Northern Ireland and Green Party coordinator in the Balmoral electoral area, Belfast.
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