To celebrate this year’s National Allotments Week (9 – 15 August), Mid Ulster District Council is holding an outdoor community gardening event on Wednesday 11 August at Maghera Walled Garden.
The event, which is organised in conjunction with The Conservation Volunteers, is free to attend and will promote environmentally friendly gardening and encourage gardeners’ to start growing fruit and veg in a climate friendly manner.
The theme for this year is ‘plotting for the future’ to celebrate the contribution of allotments to a sustainable future.
On the day participants will be guided in small groups around a number of information stalls to :
- Hear tips and advice on climate friendly gardening
- Exchange ideas with fellow gardeners
- Learn to sow some late summer salad crops
- Find out how to attract pollinators into the garden and gather ideas for simple bee and bug homes
- Experience and get inspired by the beautiful Walled Garden.
The event is mainly targeted at members of local allotments and community gardening groups but there are also places available for interested residents in Mid Ulster.
To ensure social distancing is adhered to, three different sessions will take place on the day; late morning session, 11am – 12.30pm; mid-day session, 1pm – 2.30pm and the afternoon session, 3pm – 4.30pm.
Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean said,
“The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge increase in home gardening. More people than ever are growing their own fresh fruit and vegetables, which can have an extremely positive effect on overall health and wellbeing.
“With this event, we are hoping to develop this awareness even further and demonstrate how we can all garden in an environmentally friendly way, using less plastic, going peat-free, avoiding chemicals whenever possible, and garden more wildlife friendly to attract beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies to our gardens.
“Places are going to book up fast so I would encourage anyone interested to apply now before it’s too late.”
Jenny McGetrick, Senior Project Officer with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) added: “TCV have been working in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council for many years to provide practical support for local allotments and community gardening groups in the area.
“We are delighted to be present at the forthcoming event with plenty of useful information, advice and growing tips on late summer sowing which will help vegetable gardeners to extend their growing season and make best use of available resources in their gardens, backyards or window sills.”
Places are strictly limited and must be booked in advance by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org stating participants’ name, home address, email address and preferred session. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis so book early to avoid disappointment.
Council’s Bin smART Campaign Shortlisted for Prestigious Award
Mid Ulster District Council’s Bin smART recycling campaign has been shortlisted for a prestigious National Recycling Award in the Small Campaign of the Year category.
More than 500 children across the district entered the Bin smART competition, which ran from the end of January to 10 March 2021.
The aim of the competition, which was open to primary-school age children who live, or attend school, in Mid Ulster, was to make children more aware of the items that can be recycled through the blue bin and enhance their understanding of the importance of recycling and re-using our waste.
The competition also gave parents the opportunity to do something more creative with their children during the lockdown and school closures happening at the time.
To enter, children had to create a sculpture out of the everyday recyclable items found in their blue bin with 10 lucky entries winning a brand new tablet.
Entries received included robots, a NASA rocket, a Formula 1 car, replicas of local tourist attractions including Maghera Walled Garden and Beaghmore Stone Circles, animal sculptures, colourful dinosaurs, and many more.
Speaking on the Bin smART campaign being shortlisted for an award, Chair of the Council’s Environment Committee, Councillor Wesley Brown said,
“The phenomenal response to the Bin smART competition surpassed even our expectations so to see it recognised officially with this award nomination is truly amazing and wholly justified! Families in Mid Ulster really got behind the campaign and this showed in the quality and volume of entries received. Children of all ages took part and really got to grips with the recyclable waste in their blue bins to create unique masterpieces. Residents here have certainly shown they are indeed ‘bin smart’ and receiving this prestigious nomination has just validated that further.”
The National Recycling Awards will take place on Wednesday 8 December 2021 at the Hilton Park Lane, London.
Council Recognises Achievements of Local Athlete
The Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Councillor Paul McLean held a Civic Honours Reception this week to recognise the achievements of local track athlete Nick Griggs.
The reception was held in the Council offices in Dungannon on Monday, 13 September.
16-year old Nick Griggs from Newmills has experienced great success in track including:
- A gold medal win in the men’s three thousand metres at the European Athletics Under 20 Championships, this July past in Tallin, Estonia;
- A record-breaking performance in the Under 18 Irish Youth and Under 17 British records for the five thousand metres and three hundred metres respectively;
- A three-time record-breaking performance in the Irish Juvenile Championships, smashing both the three thousand metre and five hundred metre times.
To date, the young runner has won an impressive three Irish titles at under 18 and under 20 levels.
Chair of the Council, Councillor Paul McLean congratulated Nick saying, “All of this success would be exceptional at the best of times, but to do so at the age of just 16 in Estonia and all before the age of 20 illustrates the extent of your physical strength, talent and potential.
“I congratulate you on your achievements so far, knowing that there are more to come, and wish you well in your lifelong ambition to become an Olympic athlete.”