Project 3a: Share Discovery Village Bird Hide and Trail
Share Discovery Village
Project 3a: Share Discovery Village Bird Hide and Trail
The aim of this project is to create greater access to the lough shore with the development of an accessible lough shore trail and the addition of a bird hide on the path.
Working in partnership with Share Discovery Village and Fermanagh Omagh District Council The Smith’s Strand Nature Trail is now open, thus completing phase 1 of this project. The newly constructed pathway and nature trail connects the beach area of Smith’s Strand to the surrounding woodlands along the Lough shore.
Phase 2 of this project will see further development on an extension of the path, as well as the installation of a bird hide. This will provide opportunities to engage the local community and schools to promote the use of the trail and bird hide and through interpretation raise awareness of the importance of the unique permanent and migratory birdlife that exists on Upper Lough Erne.
Previously held in 2019, the Lough Erne Schools Convention was a one-day event, however this year, due to Covid19 restrictions, groups of enthusiastic Key Stage 2 pupils from local primary schools have been welcomed over a series of five days. Each day, pupils from P5 to P7 got to experience Upper Lough Erne from their canoes with the Share Discovery Village.
In addition, pupils got the opportunity to participate in a number of natural heritage workshops which where delivered by external organisations. This included bulb planting at Smith’s Strand with Fermanagh Omagh District Council Biodiversity Team. Over three days pupils planted native crocus bulbs along the edge of the pathway leading to the beach and the surrounding recreation area.
The Lough Erne Schools Convention was delivered with part funding from the DAERA Challenge Fund.
As part of this project a number of accessibility improvements where made to Smith’s Strand:
- Accessible Picnic Tables
- Car Park Markings refreshed
- Disabled toilet renovated
- Fresh sand added to the beach area
- New bin facilities
Over the last few months work has been progressing on the development of Phase 1 of a new accessible pathway at Share Discovery Village. Working in partnership with Share Discovery Village and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council The Smith’s Strand Nature Trail is now open. The newly constructed pathway and nature trail connects the beach area of Smith’s Strand to the surrounding woodlands along the Lough shore .
The trail leads through mature woodland and provides a safe and fun way to experience the landscape surrounding the shores of Lough Erne. Whilst on your walk take time to explore your surroundings, look at the changing seasons and look out for signs of wildlife and maybe even spot a red squirrel in the tree tops.
Over the coming months we will be hosting seasonal events and recruiting volunteers to help out with several activities such as planting bulbs, wildflower meadow creation and outdoor learning to name just a few. If you or your organisation would like to get involved in any of the activities please contact Heather email:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Works have begun on the construction of the new Smith Strand Nature Trail, which will create a 1.2km accessible footpath connecting the beach of Smith Strand to the surrounding woodlands.
The pathway is being developed in partnership with Share Discovery Village, Fermanagh and Omagh district Council and with funding support from DAERA.
We look forward to the opening of the path way and exploring all that this unique landscape on the shores of Lough Erne has to offer.
As part of the Lough Erne Schools Convention, a one day event for primary school children, which celebrates the Lough Erne Landscape and nature based activity – 356 local children from 15 schools, had the opportunity to spend half of the day out canoeing on the lough with Share Discovery Village and Erne Paddlers and the other half of the day was spent attending nature based educational workshops with specialist organisations.
One of these workshops included planting native bulbs to support pollinators with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Biodiversity team, along the new path being developed at Smith’s Strand.
In partnership with Fermanagh & Omagh District Council and funding from DAERA and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a 1.2 km full access walking route is being developed around the scenic and peaceful woodland area at Smith’s Strand. This exciting project will enable people of all abilities to enjoy the beautiful loughshore surroundings and woodland. An all abilities nature trail will meander from the carpark, through the woodland and will bring you to an open picnic area with disabled friendly picnic spaces where you can enjoy the scenic surroundings and wildlife of upper lough erne.
Part of this project will also see the strand being rejuvenated to create a lovely and safe swimming area to get immersed in the lough. With the help of volunteers a large wildflower meadow will be created as well as a natural bird table to provide a source of food for all sorts of pollinators and wild bird species throughout the year. In the woodland area an outdoor classroom will also be created.
The second phase of the project will see the development of a bird hide at the lough shore to provide a safe and welcoming place for people of all abilities to watch the wonderful wildlife that life around the lough.
To get involved in this project as a volunteer please get in touch by emailing email@example.com
Regular volunteer opportunities are available, and your support could make all the difference with the delivery of this project.