Environmentalists in Derry angry at treatment of local beauty spots

"Is this really democracy at its best?", ask local campaigners

Environmentalists in Derry angry at treatment of local beauty spots

The bluebells at Prehen Park.

In this article, George McLaughlin and Damian Martin, both members of the Prehen Historical and Environmental Society in Derry, highlight concerns they have around the protection of local beauty spots.


Last year it was not possible for us to have our Prehen Woods Bluebell Walk and unfortunately due to the present Covid 19 conditions it is still not possible to offer a group outing at this time.

However, the good news is that the woods are open to the local and wider community to visit and enjoy.

Even though a year has passed with lockdowns etc. we would still ask those using this precious woodland space to respect the social distance rules that apply at this time. Kindness and respect can save lives. Keep your distance. Keep to the rules. Keep safe. Be kind also to the natural world that is all around you.

Nature has her health-giving benefits as “Every tree and every leaf of every tree is important to the well-being of everyone in our community”.

As you explore and enjoy the delights of the historic Prehen Bluebell Woods, which is one of the last tracts of ancient woodland in NI, and is one of the top ten Bluebell Woods in the UK, please spare a thought for those dedicated individuals who gave and are still giving of their time and energy to protect and preserve this and other special areas for all to enjoy.

Distressingly, in spite of all the hard work that has been done by those who seek justice for our precious environment and our concerned community, we are still, due to incomprehensible unprofessional decisions by our councillors, losing important groupings of trees, most recently at the Hazelwood Triangle and at the Prehen Park/Hazelwood entrance to the ancient woodland.

For some reason or another, even in this time of climate change, those in authority especially our council/councillors whose job it is to provide protective stewardship for our natural environment, are completely indifferent to the importance of the future sustainability of our natural assets.

Our fully qualified planners strongly recommended refusal at these two sites. However, for some reason or another there is a pattern emerging of councillors opposing the expert opinions of professional planners.

Is this really democracy at its best?

It is a shame that, because of the failure of those authoritative decision makers, good people who genuinely care about the environment are disregarded, treated unfairly and do not experience the natural justice that should be the right of everyone in our community.

We can only hope that some day our decision makers will have a change of heart and do the right thing for our precious environment and also for the health and well-being of the general population.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Derry Now editorial team on 028 7129 6600 for Derry City stories Or 028 7774 3970 for County Derry stories. Or you can email or at any time.

Read more from Derry Now.

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Derry News and the County Derry Post here for instant access to Derry's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Derry with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.