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Find out about the Birds & the Bees at Castle Espie’s Gardening Weekend

Alittle bit of spring by Richie Lort

Whether you have a tiny backyard, a strip of lawn or a huge back garden; everyone can do their bit to create a bountiful oasis for wildlife. So join us for ‘Wildlife in your Garden’ weekend on Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th March (10.30am – 5.00pm) for an action packed two days filled with walks, talks, stalls and demonstrations.   Conservation Volunteers NI will bring their green machine and deliver hands-on activities including a composting demo delivered in partnership with DOE Rethink Waste Team. Visitors will also have the opportunity to make their own composter using recycled bottles which can then be taken home. The British Trust for Ornithology will be carrying out bird ringing demonstrations visitors can find out how licensed ringers catch, examine and ring a variety of birds.

Demonstrations and practical workshops will be running throughout the day from learning the true art of making fatball feeders using lard, seeds, mixed fruit and fir cones to joining Belfast & District Beekeeping Association and the Butterfly Conservation who will be providing information on ’butterfly bank’ creations and information on gardening for Butterflies and Bees.

Throughout the weekend there will be a series of walks and talks including; beekeeping talks by our local experts from the Belfast & District Beekeepers Association (Saturday & Sunday, 1pm).  Local permaculture expert, Philip Allan will be presenting ‘A healthy Economy’ talk and walk (Sunday at 3pm). Castle Espie Bird Watching Club will host a woodland bird walk from 11am-12pm on Saturday & Sunday as well as providing useful tips on how to look after your garden birds. Finally join our guide in the Hide from 2pm-4pm, so why not go along and say good bye to the Brent Geese as they make their way back to their breeding grounds in North Canada.

Green finger stalls will offer visitors the opportunity to purchase native trees, plants and spring flowers. Harrisons of Grayabbey renowned for sourcing all plants from Irish growers will have a series of unusual plants and hanging baskets for sale. Castle Espie Gift shop will have a variety of bird feeders on offer and Belfast and District Beekeeping Association will have fresh honey for sale.

For full details on all our events please visit wwt.org.uk/castleespie, email Maeve Curran on maeve.curran@wwt.org.uk or call 028 9174 146. Follow us on Twitter @WWTcastleespie.  Become a WWT member when you visit and not only will you get your entrance fee refunded, but you can then enjoy great days out for a full 12 months for FREE.  Our centre is open 364 days a year and with annual family membership only £66 for two adults and up to six children (or just £5.50 a month, plus a free book for joining by Direct Debit) it ‘pays for itself’ after just three visits.  Members also receive an exclusive quarterly magazine, Waterlife, which keeps you up to date on what’s going on at all nine WWT UK wetland centres and has information about WWT’s exciting conservation projects saving species from extinction and caring for important wetlands around the world.  Ask a member of staff or visit http://www.wwt.org.uk/become-a-member/ for details.