Bog Meadows Local Nature Reserve
The Bog Meadows was given the UK Man and the Biosphere Urban Wildlife Award for Excellence in 2004 for enhancing the quality of life of local people while conserving and improving biodiversity. The Award recognises and acknowledges the strength of local community involvement and the strong partnerships forged by the Ulster Wildlife Trust, local stakeholders, local people and users of the site. The many organisations involved in the partnership, including the funders and key individuals, have made a groundbreaking project.
The Bog Meadows Nature Reserve is located between one of Northern Irelands busiest motorways, and new housing and industrial estates. It is an ancient marsh of approximately 20 hectares, a small piece of what was originally a much larger wetland, with a diverse habitat including traditionally grazed meadows, open pond areas and woodland scrub where important species such as lapwing, snipe mallard, moorhen and teal which can be seen as well as other threatened farmland species such as warblers, linnets and bunting.
The Bog Meadows Nature Reserve is run by the Ulster Wildlife Trust and is open all year round. There are a series of paths, bridges and traditional gates, a pond dipping area and an area fenced for grazing to return to the site. The ponds and rivers have been improved and an new Sand Martin bank installed to attract the bird back to the Meadows. The ponds have a healthy insect population such as dragonfly, and amphibians such as frogs and newts. Belfast City Council has designated the site as a Local Nature Reserve (there are only 3 others in Northern Ireland).
The Bog Meadows preservation has in large been due to the efforts of a local pressure group 'The Friends of Bog Meadows', formed in 1989, when the site was under further threat of deterioration, development and misuse. Following the transfer of a significant proportion of the site to the Friends, a successful funding bid allowed the final phase of land purchase and the start of habitat management and access projects.
Bog Meadows Reserve Officer,
Bog Meadows Project Manager,
Ulster Wildlife Trust,
438 Falls Road,