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 Rams Island Heritage Project  Supported By

     

The Rams Island Heritage Project is an undertaking of the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association Company.

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Rams Island

 

 

SANTA IS COMING TO RAMS ISLAND!!!

After months of negotiations including a visit to the North Pole by RBLNA members and a visit by Santa to Rams Island.

SATURDAY and SUNDAY 3th  and 4th December 2016

SATURDAY and SUNDAY 10th and 11th December 2016

follow below link for sailing times

All aboard the Island Warrior to Rams Island, Santa's Magical Island where Santa Claus will be meeting and greeting children of all ages. Santa Claus will present children with a small gift. Included in the fare there will be kiddies drinks, treats, non alcoholic mulled wine, tea ,coffee and snacks served on the Island. Marshmallow Toasting at a campfire and a short ride aboard the Elf Quad Train to the cottage. Each trip will  last approximately 90 minutes. All Children must be accompanied by an adult. Lifejackets (provided on board) must be worn by children.  Please arrive at Sandy Bay Marina BT28 2 LQ at least 20 minutes before sailing time. Cost from £13.99 per person adult or child. Cancellation only in exceptional circumstances.

Booking Essential

click on link to book or copy and paste into browser

 

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/santas-magical-island-2016-tickets-27748081258

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                           To Help Celebrate                   

World Wetlands Day  

On Rams Island Lough Neagh

Saturday 1st February2014

 Volunteer Litter Lift and Tour

Boat leaves Sandy Bay 11.00a.m.

Details contact Michael

07715368050

email michael@ramsisland.org

Children accompanied by an adult welcome.

A family day out on Lough Neagh with light refreshments provided by RBLNAC.

Helping the Environment
                Supported by Antrim Borough Council 

pictures  below from previous  events

2014 is the UN International Year of Family Farming – so the Ramsar Convention chose Wetlands & Agriculture as the World Wetlands Day theme for 2014. And what a great theme for Ramsar, given that wetlands are so often intimately linked with agriculture. The slogan Wetlands and Agriculture: Partners for Growth, placing a focus on the need for the wetland and agricultural sectors (and the water sector too of course) to work together for the best shared outcomes.

For more info about World Wetlands Day visit www.ramsar.org

 

            
It must be stressed that the litter has been brought to the Island by floods and not left by visitors.  Visitors to the Island are usually very cooperative and do not as a rule leave litter.
 

 

Halloween Litter Lift

On Rams Island Lough Neagh

Saturday 3rd November 2012

 Volunteer Litter Lift and Tour

Boat leaves Sandy Bay 11.00a.m.

Details contact Michael

07715368050

email michael@ramsisland.org

Helping the Lough Neagh Environment

A family day out on Lough Neagh with light refreshments provided by RBLNAC.

 
 
            
It must be stressed that the litter has been brought to the Island by floods and not left by visitors.  Visitors to the Island are usually very cooperative and do not as a rule leave litter.
 

 

 

Himalayan Balsam Bash
On Tuesday 19th June, as part of EU Sustainability Week, staff from Coca-Cola HBC  teamed up with the Rams Island Heritage Project and TIDY NI to carry out a litter lift and removal of the invasive plant Himalayan Balsam. 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

World Wetland Day Celebrations

An article by

Paige Havlin, Antrim Grammar School

Trip to Ram’s Island


World Wetlands Day is held on 2nd February every year. To celebrate this, the Antrim Grammar Biology Department took part in a Rams Island clean up event on Saturday 4th February. Mrs Calvert, William Gawn and I travelled to Sandy Bay, where were met by a group of around 20 dedicated environmentalists who were happy to give up their spare time for such a worthwhile cause. After a ten minute journey to the island, we were given a brief tour by Michael, who is a volunteer and runs the Island Warrior boat to Rams Island.
During the course of the tour, he showed us the various landmarks on the island such as the tower, the barge visitor’s centre and the O’Neil summer house. Michael also explained the various problems that they have there mainly due to invasive species and pollution.
After a short tea break and chat (mostly people asking William about how he comes from Spain), we were all given the necessary equipment (although some professionals had their own!) and we all travelled to different parts of the island. Originally William and I stayed with Mrs Calvert but we quickly lost her in the dense foliage. After a litter picking session, we returned at the designated time to have lunch, where a stew or soup dish was kindly provided.
With our stomachs full, the group set about collecting more litter from different parts of the island which had not been covered yet. The litter mainly gets to the island by washing up on the shore, after having founds its way into Lough Neagh. This is a never ending problem for the volunteers and this kind of litter picking event is held at least once every year, if not several times.
William and I lost Mrs Calvert (again!) after returning to the barge to get more rubbish bags. We quickly realised that they filled up quickly with the various bits of litter. Some interesting things we found included: a hacksaw, a propeller, some corrugated iron from a roof and a shocking amount of shotgun shells.
I think it’s safe to say that we were all shocked by the amount of rubbish we collected in the end. As Mrs Calvert said, we weren’t finding very much at the beginning as we just accepted the litter as a normal feature on the ground but once we got into the litter finding “mood”, we kept finding bits of it everywhere.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thanks the organisers of the event and Mrs Calvert for the great day that was had by all. There was a great turnout and I hope Antrim Grammar participates in this event in the future.



Paige Havlin

 

click to enlarge

 

 

2 February each year is World Wetlands Day. It marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and benefits in general, and the Ramsar Convention in particular.

 

World Wetland Day Celebrations

On Rams Island Lough Neagh

Saturday 4th February 2012

 Volunteer Litter Lift and Tour

Boat leaves Sandy Bay 11.00a.m.

Details contact Michael

07715368050

email michael@ramsisland.org

A family day out on Lough Neagh with light refreshments provided by RBLNAC .

Despite inclement weather a great turnout and a big thanks to all the volunteers who worked hard on the Island.

A big thanks for the support from Antrim Borough Council who provided ppe, tools and litter bags.

 

 

Antrim Invades Rams Island

 

Children from Antrim Community Groups spent a few days on Rams Island last summer 2011 during August.

 

 

 

Rams Island Now Litter Free!!

26.02.2011

For the First Time Since the Rams Island Heritage Project Started (2004) the Island is now completely litter Free

World Wetland Day Celebrations,

Halloween Litter Lift,

Snowdrop Litter Lift.

With help from Antrim Borough Council, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Tidy Northern Ireland and all the volunteers who worked hard lifting the litter the Island is now looking  as it should naturally. The Snowdrop litter lift on Saturday, 26 February 2011 has left Rams Island Litter Free.

 

 

 

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Autumn/ Winter 2010/2011

Volunteers Wanted

Volunteer Work Programme

With the main visitor season slowing it is now time to consider works for this winter. We are planning to get started earlier this year because as usual the spring nesting season will be upon us once again before we know it. 

Tasks this season will include the continuing battle against the litter mainly on the west shore.

Volunteers will be ferried to the Island aboard  Island Warrior from Sandy Bay. Boat owners are welcome to come in their own boat.

Litter Lifts, Fencing/Fencing Repair, Tree Surgery, Path Maintenance, Equipment Repair/Maintenance and a Woodland Audit.

If you wish to volunteer for any of these, contact Michael Savage 07715368050 or email warden@ramsisland.org  

Some of the above can only be undertaken by qualified volunteers but there are tasks for everyone. The volunteer experience this winter will be enhanced by the facilities aboard the floating interpretive centre moored at the Island.

Litter Lifts

It must be stressed that the litter has been brought to the Island by floods and not left by visitors.  Visitors to the Island are usually very cooperative and do not as a rule leave litter.

a lot to do 40 acres and 3 miles of shoreline (approx) to cover

we would like to get on top of this problem this winter

Good progress was made last winter but we still have a lot of ground to cover before the Spring.
Herons were active on the Island end of Feb/start Mar last year.


 Dates for litter lifts


Halloween litter lift Rams Island Sat, 30 October 11:00 – 16:00

Christmas litter lift Rams Island Wed, 29 December11:00 – 16:00
 


World Wetland Day Celebrations

Mini litter lift Rams Island and Tour Sat, 29 January 2011, 11:00 – 16:00

Mini litter lift Rams Island and Tour Sat, 5 February 2011, 11:00 – 16:00



Snowdrop litter lift Rams Island Sat, 26 February 2011

enjoy the sight of the many thousands of snowdrops on the Island

click to enlarge

Volunteers will also be needed to help ship the bagged litter to the mainland for removal in the intervening weekends as weather suits

If you wish to volunteer for any of these events contact Michael Savage 07715368050 or email warden@ramsisland.org  

 

European Heritage Open Days

Saturday 11th September  Sunday 12th September 2010

This year’s European Heritage Open Days (EHOD) took place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September 2010. One of the two hundred and sixty events took place on Lough Neagh.  Sponsored by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency nearly two hundred members of the public visited Lough Neagh’s Rams Island. Guided tours were led by volunteers from the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association’s Rams Island Heritage Project.  Michael Savage Project Manager explained the effects of the various lowerings of Lough Neagh on the size of the Island and the benefits to the residents of the shores of Lough Neagh. Michael also spoke about the exotic garden, the “Cottage Orne” created by Lord O’Neill in the early nineteenth century and of the monastic settlement with its round tower built in the tenth century. The round tower is a scheduled ancient monument one of ninety built throughout Ireland. Visitors were shown names carved on the trees by the American Servicemen who visited the Island during World War Two. Rams Island Heritage Project members were on hand to explain about life for the people who lived on Rams Island and the wildlife of Rams Island and Lough Neagh. Light refreshments were served aboard the floating interpretive centre barge JK16 Sandmartin which arrived at the Island earlier this year. The Rams Island Heritage Project is now in its sixth year and is proving a very popular visitor destination and could not have taken place without the support of the organisations listed on the page header.

 

RAMS ISLAND LITTER LIFT

Saturday 6th February 2010

As part of the World Wetlands Day celebrations  a litter lift took place on Rams Island on Saturday 6th February.

Leaving aboard Island Warrior from Sandy Bay Marina, fifteen volunteers from Antrim, Crumlin, Randalstown, Carrickfergus and Glenavy took part in the event organised by the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association with sponsorship and help from Antrim Borough Council and the Lough Neagh Partnership. After a break for tea and coffee on the Island the volunteers worked hard lifting litter throughout the Island. Michael Savage Rams Island Heritage Project manager said “It must be stressed that the litter had been brought to the Island by the recent floods and not left by visitors. The people who visit the Island are usually very cooperative and do not as a rule leave litter. The rubbish ranged from plastic toys, bottles, a two hundred litre barrel and even a fridge door.” The volunteers removed two boat loads of rubbish from Rams Island which will help the environment of Rams Island and the Lough Neagh Wetlands.

For more information on World Wetlands Day visit www.ramsar.org

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday 6th August 2006 Wedding on Rams Island

On Sunday the sixth of August a bride and groom fulfilled their dreams by getting married on Lough Neagh. An armada of boats carried Victoria Savage, Robert McCormac and their guests one mile across Sandy Bay for the wedding ceremony on Rams Island. The ceremony was held in the shade of the round tower, the remains of an ancient Celtic Monastic Settlement around a thousand years old, near the ruins of Lord O’Neill’s’ nineteenth century summer house.

The Island was last permanently inhabited in the early part of the last century by Robert and Jane Cardwell who were caretakers for Lord O’Neill and known as the King and Queen of Rams Island. Both Robert and Jane died on the Island after some 50 years living there, Robert in his late 90s and Jane was 102. Hopefully the King and Queen of Rams were smiling down on the young couple making their marriage vows on their Island.

Victoria and Robert were following in the footsteps of another pair of young lovers immortalised by the Clancy Brothers in the song Ballinderry. The song tells the tale of two young lovers who would visit “bonny” Rams Island and sit beneath the trees.

The wedding was the realisation of a dream that began during a visit to the Island by the couple shortly after they became engaged. Victoria, who has been visiting Rams since her childhood, remarked light-heartedly that Rams would be a lovely location for a wedding. After that it snowballed into reality. You would have to visit Rams to understand why the couple chose it for their wedding ceremony. It has an atmosphere all of its own and has an exquisite natural and historical setting.

Watched by both families, guests and visiting boaters the bridal procession arrived up the central avenue to the tower to the strains of “She Moves Through The Fair” played on the harp by Ciara McCormac. The marriage ceremony was performed on the Island by the groom’s brother Douglas, a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor. After the wedding and a reception at the nearby Ballymac hotel the newlyweds headed to Westport for their honeymoon. 

Whether there were any weddings on Rams Island in the past is uncertain, there could well have been as there was a church on the Island but the church now long gone had been unused for centuries. What is certain there have not been any weddings on the Island in living memory.

Saturday 22nd October 2006 Bluebell Planting

In a event organised by RBLNAC in conjunction with Antrim Community Forum 38 children and adults from Antrim planted five hundred native bluebell bulbs (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) on Rams Island. The bulbs should make a show in the spring and within in a few years will carpet the sides of the paths of the Island with their vivid blue flowers. The bulbs were supplied by Conservation Volunteers Nursery in Belfast grown from native stock.

click here for photos

 

There is a silent eloquence
                    In every wild bluebell                          
                That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell. …”

‘The Bluebell’ – Anne Bronte (1820-1849) 

 

Saturday 6th August Rams Island Rally

 

25 Boats arrived from Sandy Bay, Morrows Point, Battery Harbour, Antrim and Kilrea for a small Rally at Rams Island. Berthing space was at a premium with boats rafted together four and five abreast. Music and BBQ went on until early hours of Sunday morning. With fair weather on the day a good time was had by all.

click here for photos

Antrim Community Forum Balsam Bash

Saturday 25th June 2005

A Himalayan Balsam Bash and educational fun day took place on Rams Island on Saturday 25th of June.

Leaving in a small flotilla of boats from Crumlin Marina at Sandy Bay, fifty children plus Group Leaders from Antrim Community Forum Community Groups, (Springfarm, Greystone ,Rathenraw, and Townparks South) took part in the event organised by the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association with sponsorship and help from Antrim Borough Council, Antrim Community Groups, Craigavon Borough Council, Lough Neagh Rescue, the Lough Neagh Advisory Committee, the Lough Neagh Partnership, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (Lough Neagh Coastguard), Scotts Northstone and Dale Farm Ice Cream. After short tour of the Island and an educational talk about the Himalayan Balsam and the problems it is causing to the environment, the children worked hard pulling up Balsam from a large stand  at the south end of the Island .

After the  Balsam Bash as a reward for their hard work the children were treated to a barbecue prepared by members of Antrim Community Forum.

A Lough Neagh Rescue Lifeboat from the Ardboe Lifeboat Station arrived and took the children for a high speed cruise around Sandy Bay.

The day was rounded off with a man overboard demonstration by Lough Neagh Rescue.

The event was covered by Brian Black from Ulster Television.

click here for photos  click here for photos   click here for photos  click here for photos

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Antrim Community Group Litter Lift

Saturday 21st August 2004

A litter lift and educational fun day took place on Rams Island on Saturday 21st of August.

Leaving in a small flotilla of boats from Crumlin Marina at Sandy Bay, twenty four children plus Group Leaders from Antrim Community Forum Community Groups, (Springfarm, Greystone ,Rathenraw, and Townparks South) took part in the event organised by the River Bann and Lough Neagh Association with sponsorship and help from Antrim Borough Council, Antrim Community Groups, Lough Neagh Rescue, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (Lough Neagh Coastguard) and Dale Farm Ice Cream. After a guided tour of the Island the children worked hard lifting litter throughout the Island.

A Lough Neagh Rescue Lifeboat from the Kinnego Lifeboat Station arrived at two o'clock and took the children for a high speed cruise around Sandy Bay.

After the  Lifeboat trip Davey Galloway, a River Bann and Lough Neagh Association member who works in the Forestry Service, took the children and adults for an educational wildlife and woodland walk through Island.

The day was rounded off with a water safety awareness talk and parachute flare demonstration by Michael Savage a River Bann and Lough Neagh Association member who is also a member of Lough Neagh Coastguard.

PHOTOS (click to enlarge)

Litter Lift

Litter Lift

Litter Lift

Litter Lift

Lifeboat Trip

Lifeboat Trip

Lifeboat Trip

Lifeboat Trip

Summerhouse

Round Tower

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

Woodland Walk

 

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"Your Place and Mine" Radio Ulster Lough Neagh Special

Saturday 24th July 2004

Radio Ulster Your Place and Mine every Saturday between 7.30am - 9.00am

Your Place & Mine presenter John Toal takes to the saddle of his trusty bicycle for a special Your Place & Mine Programme focusing on Lough Neagh. A cycle trail now runs right round the Lough and John and the team stop off at points along the route to explore the history, flora and fauna of this beautiful, but perhaps less well known part of Northern Ireland.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/northernireland/yourplaceandmine/listen.shtml

click above to listen to whole programme

click below to listen to Rams Island Interviews

John Toal is given a tour of Ram's Island, in the company of Thomas Cardwell, Michael Savage and Seamus Burns.  

Listen to Michael Crossan speaking about the sand dredging that goes on in the Lough, with John Toal and Marie McStay.

 

you will need real player to listen to these
this can be downloaded free at
http://www.real.com/

 

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