£145K funding for Derry woodland scheme

Picture: Michael Cooper
Picture: Michael Cooper

A project aiming to create 10 miles of woodland and riverside walkways on the outskirts of Derry has been given a £145,000 funding boost.

The Woodland Trust already owns three woods in the Faughan Valley - Kilaloo, Burntollet and the Oaks and says the

funding, from Northern Ireland Environment Agency, will allow them to purchase and transform a further 53 acres.

“We have a unique opportunity to create a truly robust wooded landscape and to create an extended haunt for some rare and precious species of wildlife,” Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust said.

“We are absolutely delighted with this award. The £145,000 grant will go an extremely long way towards the overall project costs.

“Our aim is to link and bolster three existing Woodland Trust woods, where we have already planted around 55,000 trees.

“The proposed planting of a further 40,000 would, collectively, represent the largest native woodland creation project in Northern Ireland.”

The Faughan Valley, together with the River Faughan, is a haven for wildlife. Species include endangered red squirrels, otters, kingfishers, buzzards and purple hairstreak butterflies – one of the rarest butterflies in the north.

Stormont Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said the funding “ will significantly improve access for local people. In turn their visits will be enriched with a much more exciting experience of our beautiful countryside and wildlife.”

You can learn more online at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/faughan