Around 20 pairs of breeding lapwings have made their home at HMP Maghaberry
By AOL Travel, Apr 20, 2015
Updated: April 20, 2015 7:23 AM
Lapwings, one of the world's most threatened birds, have found a sanctuary within a prison used for housing the most dangerous inmates in Northern Ireland.
Life sentence prisoners helped create the habitat for around 20 pairs of breeding lapwings which have made their home at HMP Maghaberry on a marshy no-man's-land dominated by razor wire and lookouts behind reinforced glass.
The six acres of waste ground lies between the perimeter fence and wall of a jail, near Lisburn in County Antrim, more familiar as a holding centre for dissident republicans, sex offenders and murderers. WORDS: PA.
A combination of swampy short grass because of the clay ground left over from the prison's foundations and the lack of predators like foxes has created the ideal conditions for breeding chicks, retired prison guard and gardener Denis Smyth said.
He added: "Once they are big enough to fly, over the fence they go."