16th APRIL 2020 - Page 28

JANUARY 23 2020
Belfast’s Lord Mayor unveils new electric vehicles
THUMBS UP: Belfast Lord Mayor Daniel Baker gives the thumbs
up to Belfast City Council’s new electric vehicles.
PICTURE: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
ELFAST’S First Citizen has
called on people from across
the city to help shape action on
climate change by sharing their views
on council’s draft resilience strategy.
The appeal came as Lord Mayor
Daniel Baker unveiled new electric
vehicles which will be used in parks
across Belfast.
Introducing the 12 electric vehicles
is part of Belfast City Council’s plans
to review its eet, with long-term
ambitions set for transition to low
carbon transport options in the
Mr Baker said: “Climate change has
reached a point where we need to
make urgent and concerted efforts
to understand and prepare for its
“Our goal is to transition Belfast
to an inclusive, low carbon,
climate-resilient economy within a
generation, so there is work to be
“Today sees us take another step on
that journey with the introduction of
these new electric vehicles which will
be trialled in our parks.”
Climate is one of three key areas for
action in the council’s draft resilience
strategy, with children and young
people and connectivity being the
other areas of focus.
Mr Baker added: “Over recent
months we have seen young people
show strong civic leadership on
climate issues; we know that it is
something they are concerned about
and which has implications for their
generation and the next.
“Inaction is not an option and there
is a renewed sense of urgency for
us to be not only climate resilient,
but resilient as a city to shocks and
stresses – both those we can plan for,
and those which are unexpected.”
Some of the actions outlined in
the draft strategy document include
signicantly improving levels of tree
planting across the city, reducing
commuters’ dependency on cars,
improving air quality, and developing
a ‘green’ policy for the city’s festivals
and cultural sector.
As well as the online public
consultation, council will also be
hosting a number of engagement
events to raise awareness of
the resilience strategy in local
communities, and with stakeholders,
including businesses and the
community and voluntary and arts
n To nd out more, and to share
your views on the draft strategy,
visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/
Call to action
as Tourism NI
launches awards
OURISM NI has launched this year’s
Northern Ireland Tourism Awards
in partnership with event sponsor
Diageo. They are set to take place on
Thursday, June 4, at the Slieve Donard
Resort and Spa, Newcastle, County Down.
The prestigious awards identify and
reward exceptional performers in the
tourism industry over the past 12 months,
and businesses and organisations across
Northern Ireland are being encouraged to
enter in an effort to win recognition for their
hard work, dedication and the signicant
part they play in creating quality visitor
This year 12 categories are available
ranging from Best Guest House and Tourism
Entrepreneur of the Year to Best Food
and Drink Experience and new category
Excellence in International Marketing &
Sales. The full list of categories can be found
at www.nitourismawards.com
Encouraging local tourism businesses
to enter the 2020 awards, John McGrillen,
Chief Executive of Tourism NI, said: “On the
back of a decade of growth for tourism we
want to keep building our reputation as an
internationally competitive destination and
continue the momentum to double the value
of tourism to Northern Ireland by 2030.
“Recent achievements, including the return
of The Open in July which contributed
over £100 million to the economy, as well
as global awards for Titanic Belfast, high
prole recognition by Lonely Planet and our
success with Game of Thrones has brought
worldwide attention to Northern Ireland.
“With all these achievements we must
not lose sight of the many businesses and
individuals across the country who deliver a
warm welcome and outstanding experiences
for our visitors.
“The awards will showcase the exceptional
standards and levels of service that exist in
our industry and I wish all our entrants this
year the very best of luck.”
Paddy McKenna, Commercial Manager for
Diageo, said: “Diageo is delighted to be title
sponsor of the Northern Ireland Tourism
Awards 2020.
“Through our customers and our world
class brands, such as Guinness, Harp, Baileys
and Smithwick’s, Diageo is synonymous
with the tourism and hospitality industry in
ABOVE: Tourism NI Chief Executive John McGrillen with Paddy McKenna, Commercial
Manager for Diageo Northern Ireland, at the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa in Newcastle.
PICTURE: Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Northern Ireland.
“We are committed champions of the
industry and believe the tourism offering in
Northern Ireland is better than ever with an
even brighter future ahead.
“The Northern Ireland Tourism Awards
provide an opportunity to celebrate all those
individuals, businesses and initiatives that
continue to shine the spotlight on Northern
Ireland as a special place to visit on the
tourism map.
“In doing so, they have demonstrated how
important the sector is, and will continue
to be, to the success of Northern Ireland
economy. So, please take the time to get
involved in this year’s awards and help
us showcase the very best of tourism in
Northern Ireland.”
n The deadline for submitting entries
online is Friday, February 21, at 5pm.
n For further information and full details
on categories and how to enter please visit
Get ready for the Big Garden Birdwatch 2020
“Everyone has a role to play in
saving nature and protecting our
wildlife. it’s great to have a reason
to sit back and relax and just enjoy
birds and wildlife for one hour,
knowing that you’re contributing to
the world’s largest wildlife survey. It
gives people a perfect opportunity
to connect with nature.
“Often you can be amazed at the
types of birds you’ll nd in your
garden. If you’re not sure about
the birds you’re seeing, pick up
binoculars if you have them and
you might get a pleasant surprise
and realise you have a goldcrest or
redpoll or bullnch or some other
lovely bird that you might not realise
visits your garden. You’ll be able to
identify them using your Big Garden
Birdwatch pack or the RSPB website.
“The Big Garden Birdwatch allows
us to monitor trends and helps us
understand how birds are doing. If
people can spare an hour and help
us with this ‘citizen science’, it lets
us create a valuable snapshot of bird
numbers across the UK.”
Last year house sparrows were the
county leaders in Antrim, Down and
Londonderry, while starlings were
the most-spotted birds in Armagh
and Tyrone. The chafnch was chief
in County Fermanagh. Some of the
less common birds to be spotted
across Northern Ireland included
great spotted woodpeckers,
yellowhammers, sparrowhawks,
goldcrests and eldfares.
To take part in the Big Garden
Birdwatch 2020, watch the birds in
your garden or local park for one
hour at some point over the three
days (January 25 to 27). Only count
the birds that land, not those ying
over. Tell us the highest number of
each bird species you see at any one
time – not the total you see in the
The parallel event, RSPB Big Schools’
Birdwatch, takes place between
now and February 21. Almost 7,000
children took part in 103 schools
across Northern Ireland last year.
n Further information can be found
at www.rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch
n For your free Big Garden
Birdwatch pack, which includes a
bird identication chart, plus RSPB
shop voucher and advice to help you
attract wildlife to your garden, text
BIRD to 70030 or visit www.rspb.
TOTAL TABLE: Will the house sparrow top the list again in 2020?


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