Photo Caption: Bob Brown presents Comber Rotary president John Dawson with his latest book

Strangford Lough and Lecale

Dr Bob Brown, one of NI’s top environmentalists and author of books on the area, spoke to the club last week on Strangford Lough and Lecale.

Starting with the history and geology of the area, he illustrated his talk with maps and photos of land and sea. He talked fluently and passionately about the rich flora and fauna in the Lough itself, taking us back to the days when sea levels were higher and the tip of the Ards peninsula was cut off from the rest. Worryingly, he added: “There are already signs of this starting to happen again, due to climate change.”

Bob urges everyone to take a more active interest in wildlife and the countryside. Without good stewardship, he says, the unrivalled features of our local area are in danger: many insects, birds and plants have disappeared or are under threat. And of course our own wellbeing depends on the condition of our environment.

Some changes may be out of our control but it is up to us to cherish and preserve those features of our countryside that are in our care. He puts it like this: “We are part of this heritage, and it is part of us. We all have ancestry here … for many of us our forebears were part of a rural scene of farmers, fishermen, local traders, clergy and administrators. Many have deep familial connections with the landscape … we are the current caretakers of this landscape.”

Soon Bob will be off on a lecturing trip on board a cruise ship in the South Atlantic, taking in Antarctica, the Falkland Islands and Ascension Island. He has made this trip in each of the last few years, revelling in the sometimes tempestuous seas, photographing albatrosses and whales.

As if that wasn’t enough, a new interest in Napoleon will take him to St Helena, where the emperor died in 1821. Bon voyage, Bob!

Story by: DA

 



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