DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA has visited Seapark beach and Cairnwood forest in North Down to see first-hand the ongoing work which is underway to protect our natural environments.
Visiting Seapark Beach, Holywood the minister highlighted: “The wide range of activities that are ongoing 24/7 everyday to protect our environment is astounding. The efforts I have learned about today to simply maintain our precious beach environment around Belfast Lough are a credit to the dedication of my NIEA staff and a number of other local organisations and I want to commend them.”
The Minister also visited Cairn Wood Forest where DAERA is contributing £450,000 towards a £787,000 project to provide a range of walking trails in the forest, together with car parking and toilet facilities.
Speaking at the new facility, which is due to be completed by 31 March 2021, Mr Poots said: “This new exciting new project at Cairnwood is another good example of steps we are working hard behind the scenes across NI to enhance and protect our natural environment. I was keen to view progress on this excellent project which will enhance the health and well-being of local residents by providing a safe off road walking facility which can be used by all.
“The project is an example of DAERA, through Forest Service and Rural Affairs Branch, working in partnership with Ards and North Down Borough to deliver a facility which will improve the quality of life of residents of the immediate area and beyond. I also commend the Council for their innovative use of green energy technology to provide power for the toilets and also for providing charging points for electric cars. “
Notes to editors:
- Seapark Beach, Holywood forms part of the Belfast Lough SPA/Outer Belfast Lough ASSI and is adjacent to both the Belfast Lough Open Water SPA and the East Coast Marine proposed SPA.
- The site is designated for breeding and wintering birds and also for various habitats, including Maritime Cliff and Slopes vegetation.
- The Department, through the Forest Park Enhancement Scheme, has allocated funding of towards the scheme to enhance Cairn Wood Forest Park. The project, which is currently being delivered by Ards and North Down Borough Council, involves the provision of toilet amenities, carparking facilities and enhancement of the existing walking trail network.
- The Forest Park Enhancement Scheme provides outdoor resources that have the potential for supporting the delivery of long term health and well-being for residents across Northern Ireland that will either alleviate poverty or social isolation. Projects are developed and delivered by Councils in partnership with DAERA.
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