Waterways Ireland Learning Zone
Waterways Ireland Learning Zone
Waterways Ireland Learning Zone

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News & Events

  • Join us for the Big Summer Read 2018
    Join us for the Big Summer Read 2018
    We are delighted to be working with Libraries NI on the Big Summer Read 2018,the annual children’s reading event for everyone aged 15 yearsand under. During July and August there will be a programme of events and fun activities in libraries across Northern Ireland including our very own storytelling workshops and family exhibition.

    Waterways Ireland are working on two events, you can read more about them below.

     'Watery Tales and Mystical Stories'
    Discover the magical world of waterway tales with Irish Storyteller Seamus McCanny. Fantastic stories of fishy tales and monster pike will capture the imagination of young 
    and old. This event is suitable for children ages 7 years and older and booking is essential. You can book directly through the library.

    ​Monday 2 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm
    ​Thursday 19 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm
    ​Tuesday 31 July
    ​11:30am - 12 noon
    ​Wednesday 4 July
    ​2:00pm - 2:30pm

    Waterways Ireland Family Exhibition

    Join Lucas and Lottie on their Waterways Adventures. The exhibition follows them as they explore inland waterways, including beautiful landscapes and wildlife wonders. 

    ​Falls Road
    ​Monday 2 July - Saturday 14 July
    ​Saturday 21 July - Saturday 4 August
    ​Saturday 12 August - Saturday 31 August

  • Island Explorers Programme 2018 returns to Devenish Island!
    Island Explorers Programme 2018 returns to Devenish Island!

    ​We were delighted to bring our Island Explorers Programme to the iconic Devenish Island on Lough Erne once again this year. The programme took place over a 3 day period in June and was free of charge for participating schools. This year we met 3 very enthusiastic primary school groups from St. Mary's PS Teemore, St. Paul's PS Irvinestown and St. Patrick's PS Mullanaskea. Each group took a boat trip aboard the MV Kestrel to the Island where they had the opportunity to take part in rowing, biodiversity and heritage workshops.

    Row the Erne's Claire Brogan and the crew introduced groups to rowing techniques which demonstrates the value of teamwork – Together Everyone Achieves More! Students undertook the physical activity of rowing a locally built boat, learned about the heritage of traditional boats on Lough Erne and gained an understanding of the importance of teamwork in manoeuvring a 33 foot wooden boat.

    Ecologist, Morag Donald, delved into the biodiversity of the ancient landscape. Morag workshop let the students explore the monastic island for themselves, discovering species, finding out where they live and why. Each group were extremely fortunate to even spot some kingfishers on route to the island each morning!

    Local Historian, Seamas Mac Annaidh, took each group through over 1,000 years of history, leading them a tour of the 6th century monastic site including the ruins of St Molaise's House, St Mary's Priory and the Great Church. Seamas had lots of questions to answer from each group, one inquisitive student wondered if the Monks had to do the transfer test!

    Well done to everybody who took part. Hope to see you on the waterways during summer break!

  • Celebrating Biodiversity Week 2018!
    Celebrating Biodiversity Week 2018!

    Waterways Ireland was delighted to be part of National Biodiversity Week once again as part of our Education Programme. Biodiversity Week is all about connecting people with nature and showing the fun and wonder that can be found outside. This national event took place from 19th to 27th May . To celebrate the event this year, Waterways Ireland ran a series of biodiversity workshops along the Grand Canal in Monasterevin and Milltown, the Shannon-Erne Waterway in Ballyconnell and the Suck in Ballinasloe.

    Ecologist Nuala Madigan delivered workshops in Monasterevin and Milltown where students and teachers from local schools discovered the vast array of wildlife that call the canal their home. They learned how to identify the trees along the canal banks. They also made colour dabs to investigate all the vibrant colours of the canal and even came face to face with some mini beasts! Groups met Ecologist Billy Flynn on the Shannon-Erne Waterway. They also looked at identifying the various plants & trees along the waterway and listening to the sounds of nature. Our very own Environment & Heritage Officer, Eamonn Horgan met groups in Ballinasloe where his pond dip introduced the students to lots of the invertebrates and plants living underwater! They also looked at identifying animals by examining their footprints.

    The workshops were very popular with over 400 students from 10 primary schools taking part. Feedback from the schools has been very positive with comments such as "Our pupils really loved the experience and came away with so many new and interesting facts about the canal" and " It was wonderful to see such a real learning experience available to our pupils and I’m hopeful the experience might be available to us again in the future". We look forward to Biodiversity Week 2019!

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