Ulster Wildlife Trust Focus
…Seeking an Ulster rich in wildlife
To achieve our mission, the Ulster Wildlife Trust concentrates on 10 priority areas in which we can have an influence. These are-:
Managing areas for wildlife.
The Trust currently has 26 nature reserves managed for the benefit of wildlife, home to both common and threatened or endangered species. The Trust also works with other landowners such as companies, farmers and private individuals to help them manage their own land sensitively for the benefit of wildlife.
Standing up for what we believe in.
The Trust campaigns for a legal framework that will make activities that are harmful to biodiversity unacceptable. We engage with central Government, the Northern Ireland Assembly and Local Authorities to achieve our goals. We work closely with planning authorities to ensure that areas of nature conservation importance and sites that are important to endangered species are protected.
Making biodiversity relevant to people.
Walk on the Wildside Many of the problems affecting wildlife and habitat stem directly from human activities. At the same time, we believe that people today want to see wildlife thrive and want to help by correcting wildlife-unfriendly practices of the past. We help them by providing information about wildlife and environment issues and encouraging conservation work at local levels. We help people to recognise that a healthy environment, rich in wildlife and managed on sustainable principles, is essential for human existence.
The Trust collects information about our wildlife and is currently compiling a list of sites around the Province that are important for wildlife. By working with landowners, local authorities and farmers as well as government agencies, the Trust helps prevent damage or destruction of these sites.
The Trust recognises that to secure an Ulster rich in wildlife, we must have the co-operation of the farming community, the custodians of much of our landscape. We continue to work towards more wildlife-friendly management of farms, encouraging the application of conservation incentive -schemes where farmers are rewarded for wildlife-friendly farming.
Saving vulnerable wetland habitats.
Ulster Wildlife Trust These important habitats, critically important for a wide variety of animals and plants, are under increasing threat from domestic, industrial and agricultural sources. To save these resources, the Ulster Wildlife Trust works with industry, government and the community to raise awareness of the issues involved and to change policy wherever it is seen as a threat to wetland habitat.
The importance of the marine environment.
A substantial proportion of our wildlife exists in the sea, yet protection of this environment is weak and the threats are many. We seek to work closely with other organisations, including Northern Ireland’s fishermen, to campaign for a better management of the marine environment.
The conservation of wildlife habitats is a core function of the Ulster Wildlife Trust. We concentrate on safeguarding and enhancing a range of our most vulnerable habitats including bogs, fens, unimproved grasslands and hay meadows, coastal habitats, heathlands and woodlands.
The conservation of species is also of primary concern. Whilst caring for our wildlife we have identified a number of animals and plants in Northern Ireland, which we believe are in urgent need of special recovery programmes. We give these priority status. We will also ensure that new Biodiversity Action Plans give a focus to the work of the Trust in attempting to protect these species.
The list will be kept under review, but the current focus is on:- arctic charr, barn owl, basking shark, bluebell, eel grass, harbour porpoise, hazel, horse mussel, irish hare, large heath butterfly, leisler’s bat, lizard, marsh fritillary, otter, pink meadow cap, red squirrel, salmon, sea urchin, song thrush, wood warbler,
Influencing the Biodiversity planning process.
The Ulster Wildlife Trust continues to be in the forefront of helping to define a national framework for a wise management of wildlife issues, known as the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. We work with Government, local government and non-government organisations to ensure the implementation of the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Strategy.