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Healthy Oceans, Healthy Minds

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Minds sponsored by Belfast Harbour

Minding Blue Spaces

In living on an island, a wealth of serene marine scenes surround us. For our wellbeing, it is vital that we value the mental-health benefits that they can offer us.

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Minds is an annual invitation for communities and individuals to come together and reconnect with the full array of our waterways, which the global Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted.

Since 2020, Belfast Harbour has generously provided funding for groups up and down the country to create a series of events that allow the public to immerse themselves in our best blue places. These have included everything from family fun days at the shore, drum circles on the beach, to litter picking from kayaks.

Healthy Oceans, Healthy Minds takes place during late summer/autumn each year and sets itself the following goals:

  • Inspiring and re-establishing people’s connection with our seas and oceans
  • Raising awareness of the benefits a healthy marine environment can make to our physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • Educating people on alterative choices/habits they can adopt that help protect our oceans from further damage and pollution
  • Motivating and empowering people to take individual positive actions to protect our seas and oceans
  • Celebrating and showcasing groups connecting people to blue spaces


Activities during 20-31 August

Take a look at the events on offer and see what you can join!

All events are free to join thanks to our supporters Belfast Harbour.

Have an idea for an event that you would like to explore? Please share it with us at enquiries@liveherelovehere.org.



Educational Workshops and Talks

Saturday 20 August 

 Marine Life Sessions | 10am-3pm (5 time slots available)

Citizen Sea is Northern Irelands first boat based environmental charity. They invite you aboard their vessel Sea Bird docked at Belfast Marina, for an interactive session to learn about marine environments through touch tanks, microscopes to identify species and binoculars for bird ID. Meet at the steps to the marina, behind SSE Arena. Each session is 45 minutes and refreshments included. Family friendly event.

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Sunday 21 August 

 Foraging with Clare McQuillan | 12pm

Clare's foraging workshops are very popular and this one will sell out fast! Clare will take you on a foraging expedition along the North Down coastline identifying edible plants and foraging for refreshments at the end of the walk. Spaces are limited!

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Thursday 25 August

Marine Litter - Talk with Lesley Crawshaw | 7pm

Lesley is an avid beach cleaner and takes part in regular beach cleans along the North Down coastline. She runs the Beach Cleaners - Ards and North Down Facebook group and inspires people to take action to keep their local beaches clean. Lesley will talk through her finds and the importance of preventing litter reaching the marine environment. The talk takes place at Hamilton Road Community Centre, Bangor and refreshments will be proided. All welcome. 

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Sunday 28 August

Ards Canal Path Bat and Moth Walk | 6.30pm

The Ards Canal Path has a dedicated team of volunteers who value this often polluted and littered watercourse. The team from Ards Canal Path Community Group invite you to their wildlife discovery walk where they will identify bats and moths visiting the canal. They will discuss the importance of a clear waterway and the species that thrive in this urban area. Come along and meet the team and look out for those night time visitors. Refreshments provided.


Contact Event Organiser

 

Wednesday 31 August 

 Seaweed Soap Workshop in Newcastle | 11am-2pm

Michelle Wilson from Crawfords Rock - an artisan seaweed company - will be sharing her wealth of knowledge and expertise in a soap-making workshop. Make your own bar from locally foraged ingredients to take home and enjoy. This event has also been organised in partnership with Unit T and will feature a litterpick of Newcastle beach. Meeting place is at Unit T, 18c Railway Street Newcastle.

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Beach Litterpicking

Saturday 20 August 2022 

Hazelbank Beach Beach| 1pm-2pm

Join Live Here Love Here and the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for a community litterpick along Hazelbank beach. Meeting point is beside the toilet block. All equipment is provided. 

Please send Live Here Love Here an email to confirm your place at this event.



Crawfordsburn Beach | 10.30am 

The team from The Conservation Volunteers invite you to join them on a nature walk and litterpick along this beautiful stretch of coastline. Learn more about their work in the Crawfordsburn Walled Garden and how to get involved. Meeting point is beside the toilets in the lower car park. No booking required and all equipment is provided.


Contact Event Organiser


Newcastle Beach | 10am-2pm 

Join Unit T/ Eden Communites for a beach litter pick from Percy French towards Murlough Beach, followed by a drumming circle led by Marcella and a complimentary healthy lunch! A fabulous community event making ripples with lively music and food. Meeting point is outside Percy French.


Contact Event Organiser


Warrenpoint Beach | 10am-11am

Part of the 'Wake the Giant' event, this litter pick is in partnership with Love Your Lough and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council. No booking required and all equipment is provided. 


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Sunday 21 August 2022 

 Tyrella Beach | 11am-12pm 

Beach clean along the County Down coastline. Each tide brings 'gifts' of marine litter adding to the pile left the day before. Join the Live Here Love Here team for a deep clean of this stretch of beach to remove the litter leaving behind a safer, cleaner beach. Meet at entrance to beach from car park. No booking required and all equipment is provided.

Please send Live Here Love Here an email to confirm your place at this event.


Portrush Beach (West Strand) | 10am-2pm 

Join the team at BMW JKC taking part in a litterpicking event in Portrush, as they do their bit in the fight against marine litter. 

Contact Event Organiser


Ballygally & Drain's Bay beaches | Times TBC

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 Carrickfergus Seafront |12.30pm

Eco Rangers NI are a formidable force in the war against marine litter along the east coast. The ever expanding team of volunteers help keep the beautiful beaches clean with regular beach cleans and community litterpicks. This is a great opportunity to meet the team and learn how you can get involved in this important volunteering activity. Post litterpick refreshments are provided. No booking is required, call down and get involved. 
Meeting point for Carrickfergus clean is Marine Gardens.


Saturday 27 August 2022

Strangford Lough | 10am-1pm

Pick & Paddle on the lough with Strangford Activity Centre. Enjoy the stunning scenery of the lough from the water as we head out as a team to remove litter from this Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Spaces are very  limited. Meet at Strangford Activity Centre. 

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Castlerock Beach | 10am

Join the Castlerock Community Association in a walk and litterpick along Castlerock Beach on the North Coast.


Sunday 28 August 

 Killyleagh River Clean Up and Healthy Treats | TBC

The team from Killyleagh Community Association invite you to join their river clean-up to help prevent litter reaching the sea. During the summer, they have been busy removing historic litter from the river as well as carrying out their regular community clean-ups. Join this very friendly team and learn more about their great work around the village and surrounding areas. the clean up will be followed by tasty refreshments provided by the Dufferin Arms.

Contact Event Organiser



Sea Swims

Sunday 21 August 

Wild Snorkelling with Free Dive | 2.30pm

**ONLY ONE TICKET LEFT! **
Immerse yourself in the ocean at The Skeeries, Portrush to discover the marine environment and the importance of clean water on a wild boat snorkel tour. Swim with seals and experience the beautiful coastline from the water. Spaces are very limited and we encourage you to move fast.

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Sunday 28 August 

Swell Sea Swimmers, Helen's Bay | 9.30am

Fancied giving sea swimming a go? Connect with the Swell Sea Swimmers at Helen's Bay for an hour of relaxation and sea therapy. Meet other bathers and enjoy the benefits of a clean ocean. 

Head down to the beach for 9.30am and join instructor Colin McCard and the team!

 Browns Bay B*tches |11am-12pm

Want to try sea swimming or just dip your toes? Join these lovely ladies for a sea swim, refreshments and a bit of craic!  Head down to Brown's Bay at 11am and meet the regular sea swimmers for guidance and foodie treats! 

Please send Live Here Love Here an email to confirm your place at this event.


Family Activities

Monday 22 August

 Beach Schools NI at Portstewart Beach | 10am-11am

It's time to explore the shore! An event of discovery for 4-8 year olds at the Wee Beach Portstewart that jumps into rockpools and is awash with educational beach activities. Children must be accompanied by a supervising adult.


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Thursday 25 August  

Educational Boat Tour with sea2it | 5.30pm-8.30pm Hourly time slots

A fun and informative boat tour for young people setting off from Portrush and visiting the Skerries. The experienced team will tell you more about the marine environment and how they help tackle marine pollution. All aboard to learn about this diverse marine environment! Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.


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Sunday 28 August  

Without Waste Meet-Up at Seapark | 12pm 

Without Waste is a new zero waste shop in Holywood, County Down. They host regular early morning swimming sessions followed by beach cleans. They welcome you to join them on a beach clean (with beach clean bingo!), brunch and kids activities. Pop down, meet the team and join in the fun!


Contact Event Organiser


More events being added! Check back for details during the campaign.