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Nature family fun day at Bog Meadows Nature Reserve on Saturday 14 May

Date: 05 May 2022


Storyteller Louise Conaghan with schoolchildren getting ready for the Swamp Festival at Bog Meadows Nature Reserve on Saturday 14 May

The first ever ‘Swamp Festival’ is taking place in Belfast at Bog Meadows Nature Reserve on Saturday 14 May.

Belfast City Council and Ulster Wildlife have joined forces with cultural arts organisation ArtsEkta to host this special event for all the family as part of the £5.1million EU PEACE IV-funded Forth Meadow Community Greenway project, which aims to promote the greenway as a shared, welcoming, connected and safe space for all.

This unique and free fusion festival of music, arts and crafts, storytelling, nature walks, cultural workshops and much more will celebrate the return of the African sedge warblers, willow warblers, house martins and swallows to Bog Meadows.

With African music from Magwere, traditional Irish music and local folk band, The Doone Brothers, on stage throughout the afternoon, the day starts at 6am with a special Dawn Chorus and finishes with the Forth Meadow Greenway Duck Derby at 4pm. Tickets are free but must be pre-booked via ArtsEkta’s website, which contains the full programme of activities for the festival.

Rose Crozier, Interim Director of City and Neighbourhood Services, Belfast City Council, said: “We attracted a tremendous crowd for our first Greenway cultural event in March, with the Luminate Festival, so we’re hoping more and more families will join us on Saturday 14 May for this amazing Swamp Festival to enjoy this wonderful new space being created in the heart of the city to bring people from all communities together.”

Nisha Tandon, Founder and CEO of ArtsEkta, said: “We are delighted to present the first ever Swamp Festival on this island on behalf of Belfast City Council, following our inaugural Greenway Luminate Festival in March. We look forward to putting on more events throughout the Summer to bring the Forth Meadow Community Greenway to life this year.”

Deborah McLaughlin, Community Engagement Officer with Ulster Wildlife, said: “Every year hundreds of feathered visitors flock to Bog Meadows from Africa to rear their young. This amazing green space, right in the heart of West Belfast, is a fantastic asset, not only for wildlife but for local people to enjoy and we look forward to showcasing it at the Swamp Festival.”

For full details of the Swamp Festival programme, go to ArtsEkta’s website where tickets for this free festival must be booked in advance from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/forth-meadow-community-greenway-40614725793

The Greenway is being delivered through Belfast City Council’s PEACE IV Local Authority Action Plan. This Action Plan has been funded through the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, which is managed by The Special EU Programmes Body. Match-funding has been provided by the Executive Office in Northern
Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland.

For more information on Belfast PEACE IV, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/peaceiv

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