Clarke welcomes completion of work to save historic glasshouses in Castlewellan Forest Park

Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the completion of work to save the glasshouses in Castlewellan Forest Park.

The local Councillor had previously raised concerns about the deterioration of the historical buildings with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) in December 2012, calling then for the glasshouses to be saved from further ruin.

Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “I welcome completion of work to repair and save the glasshouses in Castlewellan Forest Park.

“The repair work at the glasshouses, which included the removal of years of overgrown vegetation, complete reglazing, repairing the opening mechanisms, the repainting of the structure and other repairs, has certainly saved these glasshouses from total destruction.

“The buildings were in very poor condition and had deteriorated considerably over many years due to a lack of investment by the Forest Service and DARD. Thankfully the NI Environment Agency (NIEA) stepped in and requested DARD urgently undertake specific works to save the glasshouses from further ruin.

“Whilst the recent on-going repair works were aimed at preventing further deterioration of the glasshouse structures rather than complete refurbishment, I am still pleased that these iconic historic buildings in Castlewellan Forest Park have been saved.

“With Forest Service due to transfer responsibility for much of Castlewellan Forest Park over to Down District Council to promote tourism and leisure facilities, further refurbishment works can be carried out to the glasshouses to allow them to be finally re-opened to the general public.”

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