World Wetlands Day 2002: United Kingdom


World Wetlands Day at Quoile Countryside Centre, Northern Ireland

Please find attached a photograph of a few of the participants on a Guided Walk along the Quoile River in celebration of World Wetlands Day. As this year's theme for WWD is cultural heritage, the group is standing next to careening posts that were used in the days when boats would navigate up and down the Quoile River. Sailing ships were leaned against them when having their bottoms scraped. The Quoile is now a freshwater pondage. The floodgates that hold back the salt water of Strangford Lough were built in 1957 which changed the Quoile River basin from salt water to fresh water with the subsequent change in flora and fauna. The floodgates were built to protect the town of Downpatrick from regular flooding. The area was declared a National Nature Reserve in 1970 and is a wonderful place to observe waterfowl. February 2, 2002 was a very wet and windy day indeed, but we managed to walk along the river, observe widgeon, pochard, mallard, swans, buzzards, grey herons and coots. We did a pond-dip to observe the freshwater minibeasts in the River and were able to see snails, waterboatmen, leeches, freshwater shrimp....

Thank you for the stickers and calendars,

All the best,
Tracy McCoey
Environmental Educator
Quoile Countryside Centre

5 Quay Road
Downpatrick BT30 7JB
N. Ireland


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