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Forkhill Greenspace Public Consultation for Biodiversity Plan

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Forkhill Greenspace Public Consultation for Biodiversity Plan

Newry Mourne Down Council have appointed EcoSeeds Ltd to produce a Biodiversity & Access Plan for the Forkhill Former Barracks Site. The project is funded through NIEA’s Challenge Fund.

For over 15 years, the Council have been working in partnership with DFC, DAERA and the local community (Forkhill Community Association and Forkhill and District Development Association)  in regards assessing options for the future of the remaining elements of land (4/5 acres) on the former Barracks site in the village of Forkhill.

While the site belongs to DFC, Council have responsibility for an 800m pathway around the boundary and a play-area, both developed within the last number of years. It is proposed to develop a Biodiversity & Access Plan for the 5-acre site in the centre of the Greenspace.

Working with the Council and Community Members, EcoSeeds want to engage with the community of Forkhill and users of the Forkhill Greenspace to transform the unused area in the middle of the space into a valued community area, adding habitats and greening-up grey areas of the site.

The objectives of the Biodiversity Plan is to:-

  • Benefit the wider community and environment.
  • Increase the biodiversity value of an area by encouraging more pollinators in the park by creating a shared space with pollinating plants, wildflowers, flowers, shrubs and trees.
  • Increase the biodiversity value of an area by re-introducing native locally sourced species.
  • Create a lasting positive legacy within a rural community, through further reclaiming and developing what was once viewed as a contentious military site.
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of people of Forkhill and aid biodiversity recovery by helping to improve and/or maintain the quality of space.
  • Increase civic pride by creating a programme of community engagement; which, while acknowledging the sites military past, will encourage participants to think about the future of the site and it’s potential to positively impact the local community.

At the moment, the area is overgrown species rich grassland with shrub threatening to overcome the area which could provide a fire hazard soon. Species such as common blue butterfly have been recorded on the site, and seeds from the wildflowers collected for use at other sites. There are some unofficial trails through the grassy area to contact to the other path.

Click on the video below to hear some of the ideas proposed by EcoSeeds for the Plan following meetings with local Community members and the local Primary School.

If you would like to add your suggestions/ comments, please contact Mark at Ecoseeds [email protected]  with the subject line Forkhill Greenspace Consultation  by the 11th Feb 2022.

 

Lottery Funded
NIEA DoE N&M DC Biodiversity

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