Call for action after wildflowers mowed

Following the mowing of a patch of wildflowers at Coalisland Recycling Centre, a local councillor has brought forward proposals for conservation areas to be created across the bounds of Mid Ulster District Council.

Tuesday, 27th April 2021, 2:40 pm

Speaking at April’s monthly meeting, SDLP group leader, Councillor Malachy Quinn expressed his frustration at the destruction of the wildflowers

“The wildflower garden at Coalisland Recycling Centre had been built up over the last couple of years and was tended to really well,” said Cllr Quinn.

“We saw some rare birds and insects interacting with it but unfortunately there was an incident where our staff came in and cut the grass, destroying the work that had been built up over the last number of years.

“Mistakes happen, I understand that but I want to ensure something like this does not happen again.”

Councillor Quinn then called on Council to develop a conservation policy of its own.

He called for all land owned and maintained by Council to be assessed as potential sites for wildflower, including recycling centres and carriageways. He has also requested Council engages with wildlife groups in the area to take advice on grass cutting schedules.

“I have been talking to several conservationists right across Mid Ulster and I would like Council to come up with a conservation policy,” he said.

“I know we have the ‘let it grow don’t mow’ scheme already but it is something I want to see us develop across the district.”

Sinn Fein Councillor Niamh Doris said the incident was a “very sad set of circumstances” and expressed her support for Councillor Quinn’s proposal.

“It is really sad to see this damage,” said Cllr Doris. “From my understanding it had been explained to staff they were not to cut that grass until October.

“As far as I am aware there is a schedule to cut the grass so we need to find out who put this section of grass on the schedule.

“Mistakes can be made but this cannot be repeated again. We as a Council have a responsibility to set an example and we can’t be asking people to protect the environment when we are not protecting it ourselves.

“Given this I would be happy to second the proposal.”

The chamber then voiced its approval for the officers to formulate a new conservation policy for Council.

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