Northern Ireland’s native species protected by volunteers

North Down Red Squirrel and Pine Marten group (RSPM) in partnership with Camphill Community are set to expand the natural habitat of native wildlife, such as red squirrels and hedgehogs at the Glencraig site in Holywood. This project is possible thanks to over £8,000 awarded from the Whitemountain Programme.

The RSMP group plans to raise awareness of wildlife by working with residents of the Camphill Community to build feeders and nesting boxes for native species. They will also work with volunteers at the site to monitor and manage wildlife in the area.  

Conor McKinney, Chair at the North Down RSPM group, commented, “We are delighted to receive this funding from Whitemountain. It will allow us to work with Camphill Community to involve residents in the protection of vulnerable wildlife such as red squirrels and hedgehogs on-site and encourage the breeding of birds.”

Niamh-Anne McNally Whitemountain’s Communication Officer commented, “Whitemountain is delighted to support local community and biodiversity projects through the Whitemountain Programme. In the summer, the programme celebrated £6 million investment in local projects and this autumn we have achieved another milestone with 200 projects being supported since the programme was launched in 2008. We are thrilled that this funding will enable the RSPM group and the Camphill Community Centre to protect Northern Ireland’s wildlife. This is a great biodiversity project with a positive legacy. We hope that the group will be successful with their conservation efforts to ensure native species will be enjoyed by the community for many years to come.

The Whitemountain Programme distributes the Landfill Communities Fund to projects dedicated to bringing positive change to communities within a 15-mile radius of the landfill site at Mullaghglass on the outskirts of Lisburn.  The Programme is managed by Groundwork Northern Ireland.

Angelica Florez who oversees the Programme for Groundwork Northern Ireland added: “This is an exciting project that shows that whatever your interest, ability or background, we can all make a huge difference in caring for our wildlife. The rich woodland surrounding the Glencraig site is full of natural beauty; the walking trail is an enjoyable route for all the family.”

For full details of the Whitemountain Programme, please visit Groundwork Northern Ireland’s website at

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