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Gildernew tours Meadows and Forest projects

6 March, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural development Minister Michelle Gildernew MP MLA, has visited the Bog Meadows Nature Reserve and Colin Glen Trust Forest Park in West Belfast.

During the visit to the Bog Meadows site, the Minister met with Gerry Adams MP MLA, and local interest groups to discuss development of rivers and watercourses in the West Belfast area.

Touring the site the Minister commented,

"I am impressed by the vision and dedication of those involved in the project and I can see the value of providing an open nature reserve in an urban setting for the benefit and enjoyment of the local community."

Following the visit to Bog Meadows, the Minister also visited Colin Glen Trust Forest Park where she was welcomed by Timothy Duffy, Chief Executive of the Trust. At the visitor's centre, the Minister heard about the Trust's vision for the future and the opportunities that could result from tourism, rural development and economic regeneration on the Belfast hills.

Congratulating the Trust on their achievements to date, the Minister said:

"Colin Glen Forest Park is a model of how direct community involvement can enhance and maximise the contribution that parks can make in the social and economic regeneration of neighbourhoods. The innovative approach of the Trust and the commitment and co-operation of local people in this project are key to its success and are to be commended." ENDS


  1. DARD Rivers Agency was involved in an historic partnership project, when the Agency had responsibility for water recreation functions, for development of the Bog Meadows nature reserve, conservation and amenity site.
  2. Rivers Agency's current remit is limited to the drainage function of watercourses and will continue to maintain designated watercourses and grilles in West Belfast to ensure free flow.
  3. The Colin Glen Trust was formed in October 1989 and is overseen by a voluntary Board of Directors, representative of both communities in the area. Colin Glen Trust is a commercially viable, cross community organisation, committed to the development and management of the Colin River Valley, benefiting the community through promoting application and use of the natural resources of the Glen; the provision of leisure services; and the creation of employment and the provision of training

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