A COOKSTOWN councillor is to lobby the Department of Regional Development to reopen the Black Gate at Drum Manor Forest Park.
Ulster Unionist Councillor Samuel A Glasgow MBE lives close to the park and has been contacted by many locals who are upset at the decision to block of the gate.
Councillor Glasgow said the gate had been traditionally widely used by local people particularly in the evenings.
The Ulster Unionist said: “The forest park at Drum Manor, two and a half miles from Cookstown, is regarded as one of the finest forest parks in the province. In reference to the closure of the Glenarney Road entrance or better known locally as the Black Gate, Cookstown people as well as local people use the entrance to exercise their dogs or go for a ramble, runners and many local walkers who want access to the Forest Park at times when the main car park is closed.
“There is a large picnic area 50 yards from the entrance which is ideal for parking and walking to the entrance.
“I would hope the forest service, who for what reason closed the entrance, will now consider options for improving access to this entrance and have it open to the public,” he said.
Councillor Glasgow said he will write to the Department of Regional Development’s Forestry Service shortly.
“The forest is alive until about 10 at night particular on summer evenings with lots of people using it,” he said, adding that lots of local people had been upset at the closure of this entrance.