Guest Blog by Sarah Galloway
Title: Blogs and bugs by Sarah
Hi, my name is Sarah Galloway, I am a student studying geography at Ulster University Coleraine, I am currently on placement at The Lough Neagh Partnership at Oxford Island where I will be completing a year placement before going back to university to finish my degree. I chose this placement as I have never visited Lough Neagh before which was an opportunity for me to learn about a new area. It was also by the water which was an interest for me as I enjoy coastal rowing and kayaking.
In the first two months of placement we have attended a lot of training including Dragonfly and Damselflies with CEDAR, bee training which was then used to set up Lough Neagh first bee transect, and vegetation training. With this training we then carried out Irish Damselfly surveys with the RSPB at the Munchies (Montiaghs).
This image shows a Hairy Hawker Dragonfly we found at the Munchies (Montiaghs).
We have carried out vegetation surveys and quadrants at several sites including Brackagh Bog, Multiple meadows around Lough Neagh, and at Brookend nature reserve. We have also completed the bee walk twice and found garden bees, common carder bees and white-tailed bumblebees. It is important to monitor bee activity as they are an endangered species through doing a transect it will give us an insight into the bee population we have at Lough Neagh and the vegetation and areas which they like so they can be preserved. If you are interested in learning more about bees and how to identify them you can visit www.bumblebeeconservation.org for more information.