For many of us, June signals the start of the summer.
You may have plans made and holidays booked, but hopefully you'll have time to visit our reserves over the summer months.
A great way to take in our reserves is to sign up for one of our events. On Saturday past we hosted a Summer Walk at our Belfast Window on Wildlife (WOW) reserve, and the next WOW event takes place on Saturday 6 July, when we’re hosting our Terrific Tern Day (11am to 2pm).
This will be a family-friendly event as we celebrate and talk about the Arctic terns that make Belfast their home during the summer .We’ll have games and craft activities for children, talks and presentations for adults.


Of course an excellent way to take in nature and make the best of what will hopefully be a sunny June is to get out on a boat.
And we have our own Rathlin Boat Trips to offer, led by our warden Liam, on Saturday 8 June and Saturday 29 June (sailings setting off from Rathlin at 11am and 2pm on both dates).
As you sail around the island there’ll be a summer spectacle of gannets, gulls and guillemots, not to mention the seals on the shoreline and the puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars on the stacks beside our West Light Seabird Centre.


As our Seabird Centre is only open over the spring and summer months (closing for the year in mid-September), we’d definitely recommend a Rathlin rendezvous this summer!
A very popular event is our Walk to the West (Saturday 20 July, 11am), which involves meeting at the harbour and taking the scenic 4.5-mile walk to the Seabird Centre
After exploring the centre and the upside-down lighthouse, the good news is that we provide transport back to the harbour!
The final Rathlin event this summer is the Roonivoolin Ramble (Saturday 10 August, 12 noon), on which warden Liam will take you to explore the Roonivoolin reserve on the southern arm of the island.


Our Portmore Lough reserve, close to Aghalee, is always a stunning spot to take in over the summer, when it is awash with colourful wildflowers.
The perfect event to take this in and get some expert knowledge? Our Portmore Lough Wildflower Walk on Saturday 29 June (10am).
Another always-popular Portmore event is our Macro Photography Workshop, led by photographer Danny Gibson. This year it takes place on Saturday 17 August (2pm to 5pm). Macro photography is the perfect method to get star snaps of butterflies, bugs, bees, dragonflies, damselflies and plants.


Two more ‘off the beaten track’ events that are well worth signing up to this summer are our Slemish to Shillinavogy Walk (Saturday 27 July, 9am to 12.30pm) and our Lough Beg Orchid Safari (Saturday 3 August, 11am to 3pm).
The Slemish walk is led by our conservation advisor Neal and is run in partnership with the Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust.
As with our Rathlin ‘Walk to the West’ event, you’ll enjoy a picturesque walk (about 3.5 miles) and then get a bus back to the starting point (at the Slemish visitor centre).


The Lough Beg Orchid Safari begins at the Seamus Heaney HomePlace in Bellaghy and is led by Gareth, another of our knowledgeable conservation advisors. He’ll be discussing and pointing out Irish lady's-tresses orchids and other rare plants, such as chaffweed - one of Europe's smallest flowering plants.
So there’s plenty to think about if you’d like to add a slice of nature to your summertime plans.
Enjoy the summer!

For information on our events, just visit www.rspb.org.uk/events, call 028 9064 5630 or email rspbnievents@rspb.org.uk

Anonymous