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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

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

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,

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

Summertime at Strule Arts Centre

With the summer holidays fast approaching Strule Arts Centre has a variety of activities to keep children entertained throughout the summer months.

‘Click and Collect’ Summer arts and crafts
Summer Arts and Craft kits, which include online tutorials and materials for five arts and crafts lessons, are available to purchase from the Strule Arts Centre website.

The kits cover the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Create your Summer ice pop themed bunting to hang in your bedroom or home.  Watch the tutorial as it takes you through how to create your own ice pop bunting.  Use the paints and paint brush, string and templates to create the bunting.

Lesson 2: Draw and paint a palm tree, beached themed landscape following the accompanying tutorial.

Lesson 3:  Learn how to draw and paint two different ice pops using paint and crayons/oil pastels

Lesson 4: Create your own summer themed postcard and send it to a friend to let them know you are thinking of them.  Use your literacy skills to share your summer 2021 experiences.

Lesson 5: Watch the time lapse for inspiration on how you can add colour and patterns to your camper van and surf boards. Then you can create your own beach scene using whatever art materials you prefer to use.

The kits are priced at £20 per pack, are suitable for age 4 years and upwards and available to order via the Strule Arts Centre website.

Creative Pottery Claymation  

Creative Pottery Claymation kits and tutorials are available for click and collect from Strule Arts Centre.

Claymation is a form of stop-motion animation where each animated clay model, including characters and some background, is constructed out of coloured clays or plasticine.

Each frame is recorded on film and then played back in quick succession to give the appearance of movement.

Using the kit you will create your own characters and take photographs to make a claymation movie.  This is a fun way to involve the whole family.

Kits are available to order from the Strule Arts Centre website at a cost of £15.

Gobblefunk Summer Scheme

Taking place from Monday 19 –  Friday 23 July for 7 to 11 year olds, Gobblefunk will provide a range of exciting activities throughout the week including dance, drama, music and art.

Each day participants will be visited by a guest tutor; Relax kids Omagh; Shine therapy; Devine Music; Dance Revelation and Liam the Prove it Guy.

Full supervision each day from 9am -5pm with breakfast, lunch and healthy snack each day included in the price.  The cost is £120 per child (£24 per day), second child+ £110 each for the week.  Please note numbers are limited.

Music Academy  

Taking place from Monday 26 July – Friday 30 July, 9am – 5pm for children age 12 – 17.

Music Academy aims to develop skills and build confidence in performance and collaboration but, most of all have a fun, creative week picking up tips from professionals in the industry.

Coordinated by ‘Together in Music’ the talented pool of tutors includes natives of Omagh who live and work in the area including:

Calvin Davison – Vocals and Keyboard.  Calvin attended Omagh Academy Grammar school before studying singing and Opera performance at The Royal Northern College of Music. Calvin is currently teaching at Dungannon Integrated College.

Aidan (Nardo) Dunphy – Percussion and Drums.  Aidan studied at Trinity College of Music London. He has played at Ronnie Scotts and with English National Ballet and recorded with Declan O’Rourke amongst many other wonderful singers over the years.

Matt McGlinn – Guitar.  Matt is a member of the McGlinn musical dynasty who grew up creating and performing. Matt has years of experience teaching the guitar and now, along with Owen McNulty, runs the very successful ‘Guitar Studio’ in The Old Market Yard Omagh.

Full supervision each day from 9am – 5pm. Breakfast, lunch and healthy snack are included in the price of £150 (£30 per day).  Second child+ £130 each for the week.

Art, Photography and Creative Writing Academy 

Taking place Monday 9 August  – Friday 13 August, 9am – 5pm for 12 – 17 year olds.

Art, Photography and Creative Writing Academy aims to develop skills in each art form.  Participants will look at light, composition and shadows.  For those interested in the arts this will be a wonderful week of learning and having fun with skilled tutors including Master Photographer of the Year 2018 Tony Moore Fine Art Photographer, artists including Pauline Harte and Rory O Laughlin and Creative Writer, Andrew Maguire.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore all three art forms in interesting bite size tutorials suitable for their age group, providing them with knowledge that they can then take with them and develop further as they progress through life.

It is anticipated that they will be able to explore along the Strule Riverside Walk and Omagh Town Centre for this programme.

Full supervision each day from 9am-5pm. Breakfast, lunch and healthy snack are included in the price of £150 (£30 per day).  Second child+ £130 each for the week.

The above Summer Academies, developed in partnership with local artists and musicians, will provide participants with the opportunity to meet local professionals within the industry who will share their expertise and provide guidance and encouragement to participants.

All activities will be undertaken in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions and public health guidance. 

For further information on summer activities at Strule Arts Centre place visit the Strule Arts Centre website here.

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