Northern Ireland

Public consultation on Antrim forestry plans launched

Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus, is one of the forests covered by the consultation
Image caption Woodburn Forest, near Carrickfergus, is one of the forests covered by the consultation

A public consultation on plans for Antrim forestry has been launched by the forest service in Northern Ireland.

Chief Forest Officer, Malcolm Beatty, said the service had changed its approach so forest users, owners and industry can get involved at this stage "when issues are being identified".

He said it was important people "across the area and beyond have their say".

This consultation covers forests from Somerset, near Coleraine, to Woodburn, close to Carrickfergus.

"As our forests develop as places of industry, environment and leisure, we are encouraging everyone to make their feelings known," Mr Beatty added.

Within the last plan, the Forest Service said it produced an average of 62,000 tonnes of timber each year from County Antrim forests "to supply the timber processing industry, creating jobs in rural areas and providing resources to reinvest in forests".

The service said the consultation paper reviews achievements under the current plan, and identifies opportunities where forest plans could be improved, and how this "might be taken forward".

The scoping topic areas include forestry effects on landscapes, rivers and lakes; the enjoyment of forests by people, and conservation of forestry lands.

The consultation will run to 18 May.

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