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DAERA Minister, Edwin Poots MLA has visited a 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 how 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.