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Ballymoney
Saturday, August 15, 2020

Dark Hedges in danger from increased visitors numbers?
D

The bank holiday accompanied with Mondays good weather saw an increase in visitor number to the world famous Dark Hedges.

Source: ‘North Coast’ Facebook

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The site was always a well known local beauty spot enjoyed by locals, but in recent years the visitor numbers has increased after the Dark Hedges featured in the popular series Game of Thrones.

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The unique structure of the tree forming an arch shaped tunnel are hundreds of years old and prone to damage.

Two major tree uprooting happened in 2016 due to adverse weather. The age and condition of the trees therefore makes them prone to damage.

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The concern is that this increase in visitors, and traffic, especially coaches, will further risk irreversible damage to the tree structures.

Plans are in the works to close off this section of road to traffic and limit access to parts of the Dark Hedges to visitors, but this has yet to be implemented.

Cllr Darryl Wilson said,

“The Ulster Unionist Party grouping on Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council have been lobbying for much needed changes to be put in place to prevent further damage to the iconic Dark Hedges. (Road closure, tree replacment, adequate tourist information/facilities/parking)

We will endeavour to vigorously lobby all agencies involved to bring about changes as soon as possible. It’s nothing short of disgraceful that the hedges are quite literally being destroyed before our very eyes

With the new series of Game of Thrones beginning in the next couple of months this issue is likly to get worse unless immediate action would is taken!

What do you think should happen at the Dark Hedges? Email fusefm@hotmail.co.uk

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