A busy season!

WITH many Garden City residents preparing for the end of the academic year and school/college/university holidays, the Al Ain Emirates Natural History Group (ENHG) can look back on what has been a busy and productive season.

By Focus On Al Ain By Jim Crawford

Published: Tue 7 Jun 2005, 10:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:57 PM

The Al Ain ENHG's calendar includes trips to places far afield, e.g. Nizwa, RAK and Ibri. On the local front, the Group has been involved with the annual Music Festival in Al Ain, organized by the ADCC (Abu Dhabi Concert Committee), and has supported Emirates Environmental Group’s annual clean-up campaign '12/12', held every December 12.

The Abu Dhabi Chapter hosted the Inter-Emirates Weekend this year and Al Ain and Dubai branches shared a weekend at the Mafraq Hotel.

Even the current daunting temperatures is no deterrent to the Group's enjoyment of the diversity of wildlife, heritage and archaeology found in and around the UAE and Northern Oman every weekend. Regular meetings are also held at their workroom housed at the Al Ain English Speaking School (AAESS).

The Group's concern with environmental issues stimulated a partnership with PIC (Professional Investment Consultants, Hilton Hotel, Al Ain), EEG, and AAESS, to install recycling crates in the grounds of Al Ain English Speaking School for collection of paper and metal cans. The Al Ain Community has been fantastic in supporting this venture which has been a highlight of the year.

The Photography Competition , on May 24, attracted the record number of entrants and entries since 2001. Twentyfive members submitted 144 photographs in eight categories, judged by professional photographers from Al Ain. Sixteen contestants received prizes. First places were awarded to Bob Reimer (3), Mike Green (2), Geoff Sanderson, Naseer Ommer, Tana Thompson, Trevor Dinn, and Geraldine Kershaw. People's Choice prizes went to Geoff Sanderson and Trevor Dinn.

Over the last few weeks, the Al Ain ENHG has been assisting in the rescue and translocation programme for spiny tailed lizards (dhub) which were being threatened by construction at a development site. In the first such attempt in the UAE, the lizards are being trapped and temporarily stored at the Sharjah Wildlife Breeding Centre until a new and environmentally appropriate desert home can be located. So far, in excess of 60 dhubs have been caught, a total which might eventually approach 400.

This initiative is a credit to the planners of the new runway at Abu Dhabi airport, the Supervision Committee for the Abu Dhabi International Airport (Scadia), Parsons International Ltd and URS Corp as well as the large numbers of volunteer conservationists from Al Ain ENHG and other groups.

The Group has a web site, which holds much archival material and contact details at www.enhg.org.

Great work by students

STUDENTS at Al Ain English Speaking School (AAESS) have raised enough money to build a house for a family in Sri Lanka, who lost everything in the tsunami of December 26.

At a special assembly on June 1 , the school’s Year 9 handed over more than Dh3,000 to Al Ain resident David Clark, who has been raising funds in Al Ain for the village at Hikkaduwa, on the SW coast of Sri Lanka. Students raised money by organising bake sales and other events, guided by their Geography teacher, Ms Junie Michel.

The assembly included a student presentation with photographs of the damage done to the village, of the clearing work done on the site, and recently of the rebuilding. There will be money left over to start the building of a second house.

AAESS plans to maintain contact with the project, both for future fund raising, and to develop some links with the local school children.

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