Council Â£7m investment in new Culmore District Park
The newly opened riverfront Culmore District Park offers a 'valuable' new publicly owned space for local people and visitors, the Council has said.
The park opened to the public on Monday following a £7m restoration project at the former landfill site.
Mayor of Derry & Strabane Hilary McClintock, who took a tour of the site, said she was very impressed with the work that Council had undertaken.
She said: “Restoring the site has been a unique opportunity for Council to transform the landfill into a valuable green space for all our citizens and visitors covering the area of almost 40 full size football pitches.
“The restoration works is a huge investment by Council of over £7m that will provide the people of Culmore and surrounding areas with a beautiful landscaped green space with spectacular walkways and views over Lough Foyle to enjoy.
“It has created habitats for internationally important over-wintering birds and an important location for biodiversity with wading birds feeding on the mudflats.”
The former landfill site was closed in 2007 and Derry City and Strabane District Council undertook to transform the area’s woodland, grassland and shoreline habitats.
Conor Canning, Head of Environment with Derry City and Strabane District Council,said: “The site, which was originally tidal, was reclaimed for agriculture use in the late 19th century and early part of the 20th century.
“Prior to 1971 the sea defences installed for the agricultural reclamation of the tidal marshes were breached during a storm and the land had returned to tidal mudflats.
“In 1971, the site was developed by the former Londonderry Development Commission as a controlled municipal landfill site. The landfill site operated for 36 years and was closed in March 2007. Following closure the site has been restored by Derry City and Strabane District Council to reduce its impact on Lough Foyle and the surrounding environment.
“This has involved the capping of the site to reduce rainwater coming into contact with the waste and becoming polluted and to trap gas being emitted by the infilled waste. In total over half a million tonnes of soil has been used to create the public park, with the trapped gas being collected and used to generate electricity to operate the park, local waste water treatment works and for export to the National Grid,” he added.
The Culmore District Park will be open to the public Monday to Sunday from 8am to dusk.
For more information visit: derrystrabane.com/parks.