Delight over new forest walkways

Delight over new forest walkways

14 October 2020

THE completion of new community walking trails at forest parks at Tievenadarragh near Loughinisland and Drumkeeragh outside Ballynahinch have been welcomed by local Sinn Fein politicians.

South Down MP Chris Hazzard, Emma Rogan MLA and Slieve Croob councillors Cathy Mason and Roísín Howell visited both trails recently and have called for investment in the district’s green infrastructure to continue.

They say the new trails provide local people and visitors with a safe place to walk and will undoubtedly lead to improvements in the physical and mental wellbeing of those using them. 

In addition, the politicians have also described the new trails as a “fantastic asset to the rural community”.

Mr Hazzard said Sinn Fein was prioritising green infrastructure across the Slieve Croob area, helping meet the needs of residents and visitors and residents for quite some time.

He said that as Covid-19 strengthened its grip in the area earlier this year, locals people, sports clubs members and families took to the walking trails in Tievenadarragh, Drumkeeragh and at Bunker’s Hill in Castlewellan.

The MP added: “Investment in our green infrastructure needs to continue and will help revitalise our area, helping communities to explore the historical trails around their homes whilst protecting the local environment.”

Ms Rogan said the walking trails were a “fabulous asset” to local communities, walking clubs and visitors.

“Trails like these encourage the development of links within the local community whilst promoting physical activity,” she said.

Cllr Mason said Newry, Mourne and Down Council had made great strides in encouraging communities to participate in physical activity of different types and intensity. 

“We all know how beneficial this is, not just in terms of physical health. It also impacts positively on mental health and general wellbeing,” she said.

“The Tievenadarragh Forest Trail is family friendly and can be used by all with the added bonus of people being able to enjoy the outstanding natural beauty of this area.”

Cllr Howell said that over recent months, many people were walking and cycling along country roads and lanes enjoying the landscape and local scenery.

“During this time, people rediscovered many old pathways and trails which have become overgrown, some which can no longer can be accessed. Sinn Fein representatives will be meeting with the relevant agencies in the coming weeks to help rediscover and revitalise these trails and pads.”