In 2008, Broughshane Improvement Committee and a team of Volunteers decided it was time to clean up a derelict swampland at the back of Riverside.. With the aid of a grant from BBC Breathing places and BIG lottery, the groups engaged local contractors, The Adams Brothers Ltd to excavate the ponds, put up fencing and install feeding stations. To compliment this work, a team of Volunteers cleaned the area up and introduced ornamental waterfowl. The Volunteers formed Broughshane Waterfowl & Wildlife Association so that they could continue to maintain the area and the birds. This was all done with the full support of the Woodland Trust.
During 2008 to 2010, Broughshane Environment Waterfowl &Wildlife Association, Broughshane Improvement Committee and Broughshane & District Community Association, collaborated to produce a Business Case as to how we could take this project further for the benefit of the village, our residents, visitors and the ethos of the overall work in Broughshane.
We decided to make the area unique and. between the Volunteers and Breeders of Ornamental Waterfowl throughout the UK, we looked at introducing all seven species of Swan in the world into Broughshane. There are around 9 species but only 7 are officially recognised as distinct.
The Volunteers researched the birds, raised the monies, and brought the birds into Broughshane under licence from Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. BEWWA also obtained a number of other rare species of Geese and Ducks to add to the variety.
Collectively, the Group consulted with all the wider groups throughout the Village and all agreed there was potential to develop the area to create a wider tourist attraction to help sustain our Village and rural way of life. It was also felt to be very important that we educated our children and young people on the importance of protecting our environment and the wildlife, arts and the people it sustains.
By 2012, Broughshane Environment Waterfowl & Wildlife Trust was formed. An application was made to NER RDP for funding to improve the infrastructure of the pond area and create a better visitor experience. This was supported by the full Council of Ballymena Borough Council,
We wish to support the sustainability of our village through encouraging more visitors to Broughshane to help keep our local traders and rural way of life, We wish to encourage young people to protect the environment for the future by making our young people our wildlife guardians In December 2012 BEWWT officially obtained the land from Ballymena Borough Council and the Woodland Trust.
We continue to work to develop the area in full partnership with Ballymena Borough Council, DARD, and Rivers Agency and of course, ALL the local Broughshane Groups and Associations. It should also be noted that the entire project is run and managed by Volunteers and we have no paid staff.
BEWWT aims to provide for a place of tranquillity and interest for all our residents and visitors to Broughshane We wish to introduce old and young to the range and variety of waterfowl and to show people the link between environment, birds and the wildlife it supports as well as encouraging an appreciation of art, culture and local history
We wish to support the sustainability of our village through encouraging more visitors to Broughshane to help keep our local businesses and rural way of life; Encourage young people to protect the environment for the future by making our young people our wildlife guardians