UFU supports NI Water in the launch of ‘Rush Control without Pollution’ - Plans progress for launch of Eden Burn Weed wiping project near Ballymoney

Friday, 22 March, 2019

Commodity Watch by UFU Policy Officer, Patricia Erwin

The Ulster Farmers’ Union in Association with the Water Catchment Partnership are pleased to support NI Water as it plans to launch a new Weed Wiping project at Eden Burn near Ballymoney. This event will take place on Thursday 28th March in Ballymoney Town Hall at 7.45pm.

The Weed wiping project is a NI Water initiative supported by the Water Catchment Partnership, of which the UFU is a member. Other partners include NI Water, NIEA, DAERA, CAFRE and the Voluntary Initiative, this collaborative approach rather than regulation and penalties has delivered a positive outcome and solution for all involved demonstrating positive outcomes are possible when public bodies and farmers work together.  

The UFU encourages those who live and farm in the catchment to attend the launch and learn more about the benefits for all delivered by participating and supporting this initiative.  Environmental protection is high on the farming agenda and the UFU know our farmers do care for the environment and are willing to embrace new technologies, follow best practice protocols, and explore new ways to control rush. 

UFU deputy president Victor Chestnutt is local to the area and said, “I look forward to welcoming our farmers and others to this worthy information meeting and to give our UFU support to NI Water on the launch the Eden Burn weed wiping project. The project has been very successful elsewhere in Northern Ireland and has helped to improve water quality. It is a testament to the farmers in the area who embraced this technology and to NI Water, NIEA, DAERA, CAFRE and the Voluntary Initiative for using a collaborative approach rather than regulations and penalties. It is a great example of what can be achieved when we work together constructively.”

The weed-wiping project is an excellent NI Water initiative, supported by the Water Catchment Partnership, the aim is to help address water quality issues in Northern Ireland.  Roy Taylor NI Water Catchment Manager said, “I am delighted that the pilot project was such a success at Seagahan and reduced MCPA levels in the dam by over 75% in 2018, making it much easier and more cost effective for NI Water to supply high quality drinking water to the local area. Previous weed-wiping projects have clearly illustrated that trust and working together in partnership delivers for all. We are now rolling out phase 2 of the Seagahan project, continuing with the Glenhordial project, Co Tyrone, as well as this new project at Eden Burn, near Ballymoney, Co Antrim, to build on last year’s success. 

The UFU endorse and commend this approach and hope for the delivery of more of this type of partnership in future. This is an open meeting for all in the Eden Burn catchment area on Thursday 28th March 2019 in the Town Hall Ballymoney at 7.45pm.

Pictured: Robert Calvin (UFU/NFU), Dominic McCann (NI Water), Rebecca Allen (NI Water), Ian Gregg (UFU/NFU), Roy Taylor (NI Water) and Victor Chestnutt (UFU) meeting in advance of plans to launch a new Weed Wiping project at Eden Burn near Ballymoney.