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Fermanagh and Omagh

Council Highlights Risk Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning This Summer

With the main tourism season fast approaching, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is supporting the Public Health Agency’s campaign to raise awareness of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning this summer.

With many tourists coming into the district to enjoy camping, caravanning or boating holidays during the season, the Council is taking the opportunity to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in enclosed spaces.

Awareness is Key

Commenting on the initiative, the Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Cllr Howard Thornton, said:

“While we may think carbon monoxide is usually associated with domestic fossil fuel-burning appliances, incidents and even deaths can also occur in caravans and on boats. Given the significant number of visitors to our district on camping, caravanning and boating holidays, and the large number of caravan and camping sites and marinas in the district, the Council is keen to raise awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe holiday experience in our district”.

Act Fast

Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Officer at the Public Health Agency, Hilary Johnston said:

“Carbon monoxide can build up very quickly in enclosed spaces to levels that can kill and has been linked to deaths where people have brought gas and charcoal barbecues into tents and other small enclosed spaces. It is a colourless, tasteless and odourless gas that is non-irritating and as a result can be very hard to detect.”

The signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for other illnesses, such as food poisoning or flu. Anyone who suspects they have carbon monoxide poisoning should immediately go outside into the fresh air and seek urgent medical attention.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

  • headaches;
  • dizziness;
  • breathlessness;
  • nausea and vomiting;
  • exhaustion;
  • drowsiness;
  • light-headedness;
  • collapse and loss of consciousness.

Safety steps to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your caravan, holiday home or boat. These alarms have a limited life span, so if you’ve had one for a while, please check to see if they are working properly – it might be time to buy a new one;
  • Never take a barbecue inside;
  • Never use a fuel-burning appliance to heat your tent, awning, caravan or boat. Gas and kerosene heaters, unless they are permanently fitted in a caravan or motorhome, should only be used outside;
  • Never run a gas, petrol or diesel-powered generator inside;
  • Don’t cook inside your tent or awning;
  • Don’t use any other gas, charcoal, liquid or solid fuel appliances inside a tent or awning. Gas-powered fridges and lamps, for example, also need plenty of ventilation to prevent them producing poisonous carbon monoxide. Tents and awnings aren’t generally designed with this in mind;
  • Always have gas appliances in your caravan or boat serviced regularly, by a competent Gas Safe registered engineer.

Stay Safe

For further information or advice on Carbon Monoxide poisoning or on obtaining Carbon Monoxide alarms, please contact the Home Safety Officer, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council by telephone on 0300 303 1777 (all calls charged at local rate) or Textphone on 028 8225 6216 or by email at home.safety@fermanaghomagh.com

Fermanagh and Omagh

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Pre-Booking System is a Summer Success

The car park pre-booking system, which launched in June of this year, has welcomed almost 5,000 bookings in three months.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk’s official car park has received almost 5,000 bookings within three months of launching its online booking system, theboardwalk.ie.

The booking system was created earlier this year with the aim of facilitating more effective crowd management and social distancing regulations, controlling numbers during the peak season and ensuring the safety of all staff and visitors.

With hopes of also fostering sustainable, green tourism at the popular Fermanagh landmark, the limited visitor numbers better enable the protection of the grounds and surrounding habitat by controlling the heavy footfall often experienced at the Instagram-worthy attraction. This was the original cause that led to the original construction of the boardwalk by UNESCO-endorsed Cuilcagh Lakeland Geopark, with the paths meandering through one of the largest blanket bogs in Northern Ireland.

The online bookings have come from all across the island of Ireland as people have enjoyed staycations, bank holidays and two unprecedented heatwaves this summer. While the initiative has received initial success, the bookings only represent a small percentage of walkers currently visiting the boardwalk each day and the mountain trail aims to see more visitors doing their part and pre-booking their car parking space in the months ahead.

Speaking on the success of the online system to date, local farmer, Cuilcagh landowner and car park operator, John Sheridan commented:

“This online system marked an important first step in the long-term redevelopment plans for Cuilcagh Boardwalk, and the number of online bookings to date indicates that we are successfully engaging with and encouraging walkers to be more environmentally conscious during their visit.

With that said, our work is not done. We want to encourage 100% visitors to pre-book their car parking space, so that we can safely control numbers on the boardwalk each day and reduce the impact of high-volume visitor traffic.”

Cuilcagh Boardwalk is also now part of the national Leave No Trace education programme, which focuses on developing a national ethic that protects both natural and cultural heritage by minimising the environmental and social impacts of tourism on some of the country’s most popular visitor attractions.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk’s online car park booking system comes as part of early development plans for the mountain trail and is determined to remain a sustainable, environmentally mindful area for all to enjoy.

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Fermanagh and Omagh

Wild About the Workhouse Wildlife Walks in Enniskillen

Did you know there are eight species of bats in Northern Ireland or that swifts, on leaving their nest for the first time, are airborne for 2-3 years before they land for the first time!

Would you like to learn more about bats, swifts and local wildlife in Enniskillen?

If so, registration is now open to join a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk taking place around Enniskillen on Friday 2 July and Friday 23 July 2021 at 8.30 pm.

These walks, organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, are part of the Enniskillen Workhouse Project in partnership with South West College with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Enniskillen Workhouse is currently home to swifts during the spring and summer months and bats potentially all year round.

Nesting swifts and bats are both protected species, therefore, as part of the restoration of the workhouse to create a business enterprise and heritage hub, the Council is protecting and enhancing the nesting and roosting spaces that are there by following specialist guidance on construction timings, building advice and appropriate mitigation.

The walks will be on footpaths and walkways around Enniskillen town at night taking in Enniskillen Castle and Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.

To find out more and book your place on a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk, please email biodiversity@fermanaghomagh.com

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis as numbers are restricted to 15 per walk.

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