Independent Crotlieve Councillor Jarlath Tinnelly has slammed Newry, Mourne and Down District Council after they removed bamboo from Kilbroney Park. The Council has been slammed for removing bamboo in the park which has exposed a previously hidden badger sett.
Speaking on the issue Cllr Tinnelly stated:
“I have no hesitation in stating that the removal of the bamboo planting in Kilbroney Park by council themselves is an absolute outrage. Whilst the bamboo may have been classed as a non-native invasive species, in this instance greater recognition should have been given to the fact that the planting had been there for many decades, long before council took ownership of the park and as such was an adventure playground and meeting point for generations of local children.
People are rightly aghast that council could be so callous regarding their stewardship and management of this area of the park in this instance and equally alarming is that the removal has now exposed a previously hidden badger set, an area that is most likely protected under the Wildlife ( NI ) Order 1985.”
“Having now being told that this area was cleared as part of the council’s biodiversity action plan, which commits council to controlling and sometimes removing non-native species from their land, this case is a classic example of why a blanket approach and one size fits all policy is not fit for purpose.
In April of this year, a paper was passed at council that committed officials to engaging elected members prior to any planned tree felling work and that was on the back of concerns that I had raised regarding an increase in tree felling in Kilbroney Park over the past year or so. In hindsight this engagement with local elected members prior to any substantial works taking place should have covered issues such as the removal of the bamboo planting and going forward I expect officers to now prepare a paper to reflect the fact that in this instance they got it wrong and whilst it is too late to save that area of what’s fondly known locally as the meadow, similar undertakings without prior consultation will be prohibited going forward.”