13th May 2015

DOE Breaks Quercus Contract

The DOE NI has decided not to renew the NHRP contract with Queen’s University Belfast.  All work related to this will terminate on 22ndJune.

They are challenging this decision on the following grounds:

(a) NHRP resulted from a European wide competition administered by UK Government Procurement.  Non-renewal can be on the basis of under-performance, which is recognised as not relevant, and availability of funds.  They contest that since DOE NIEA are advertising new grants for NGOs, money is available and, hence, non-renewal on these grounds is neither rational nor reasonable.

(b) Research conducted by NHRP is largely statutory on species and habitats covered by EU Directives.  Research on restoration of biogenic reefs of Strangford Lough will cease on 22nd June leaving UK Government open to infraction (fines for non-compliance) of £6.6 million with daily fines continuing indefinitely thereafter.  These costs will be passed on to NI Government. DOE’s decision regarding NHRP makes no financial sense.

(c) Undermining the NI environmental research base will quickly lead to additional non-compliance with Birds and Habitats Directives.  NHRP provides jobs and training, access to advanced technologies and current scientific literature, modern data handling and statistical analyses, and local knowledge combined with international quality science relating to conservation biology, biodiversity and ecology.  This will not be replaced quickly, easily or cheaply.

Quercus ask if you are concerned about the deteriorating terrestrial, freshwater and marine environment of Northern Ireland and recognise the importance of research-led policy and management, please make your views known to the Minister of the Environment, Mr Mark Durkan. Email: [email protected] or [email protected]  or  write to: Room 321 Parliament Buildings Ballymiscaw Stormont Belfast BT4 3XX

For more details download the full press release from below.


Sign up and stay up to date with our newsletter.

Sign up to ensure that you don’t miss out on any Ring of Gullion, Strangford Lough & Lecale Partnership, and Mourne Mountains Heritage Trust news and events!

Related news



The East Border Region’s Action for Biodiversity Project, part funded by the European Union’s INTERREG IVA Programme, are encouraging people to ditch their late lie-in for an hour spent in...

9 June, 2011 Read more

New Tourism Strategy Needs You!

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is working on the development of a 5-year Tourism Strategy for the District. Considerable work has gone into assessing the current situation, understanding where...

1 September, 2016 Read more