Friday, December 24, 2010

Lough Neagh Ice - the fog lifts!

Lough Shore pensioners Dan Moore (on the quad) and Eamon Moore with Drew Moore out on Lough Neagh in front of 1 Ingrams Road, early afternoon, December 23rd, 2010.
The area around the proposed Moy Park Incinerator site experienced a period of unprecedented frost in the week before Christmas 2010.  At the time of writing (6pm on Christmas Eve) the temperature has already been well below freezing for eight days straight.  Minimum temperatures were between -10C and -14C, with daytime temperatures generally below -5C.  There was dense freezing fog Mon-Wed with an incredible maximum temperature of just -8C on Tuesday.  All the while the land was covered in 10 inches of powder snow.

On Thursday December 23rd the fog lifted to reveal the full extent of ice cover on Lough Neagh, which is at its most extensive since at least 1963.

The picture above shows pensioners Eamon Moore and my dad (on the quad) along with my brother Drew on the ice in front of One Ingrams Road.  The water is quite shallow, under four feet deep for a few hundred yards from the shore, so its a lot safer than it looks!

The ice extends for three miles to Langford Lodge point in the background.

I rode the quad out on the water from Ingrams Road to the mouth of the Crumlin River one and a half miles to the North earlier in the day.

The picture below shows the winter sunset over the ice, which extends for three to four miles to the southwest.

These pictures serve to remind us of two aspects of the CALNI objection to the Moy Park Incinerator.

Firstly, our part of Lough Neagh is very shallow which has created unique spawning grounds for many cold water fish species.  These same conditions create what are probably the largest expanses of "safe" ice in Ireland when there is a big freeze.  The warm water discharged from the Incinerator would threaten this whole ecosystem, not to mention almost certainly preventing the Lough from freezing again.

Second, our area is extremely beautiful, and is a designated area of high scenic value.  The incinerator buildings will destroy one of the gems in the Northern Ireland countryside.  It will be visible from 80% of the surface area of Lough Neagh and five out of the six counties in Ulster.
Sunset over the ice, 28 Shore Road, 23rd December, 2010.


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  2. Riding a quad on a frozen lake is a really dumb thing to do.

  3. Hello Danny could I use your beautiful photo in a Twitter post please?
    I'm a singer songwriter and am releasing a new EP in the spring...The last song is called 'Heaven Help Me' and its opening lyrics go 'It was mid December, Sun burning red, there was ice upon the fields. Fire in my head'...As an independent artist I wouldn't be able to pay you, but would make sure I use your name as photographer. Hope you enjoy the rest of the Christmas period...look forward to hearing from you...All the best, Jim 👍