Anna Lo MLA said: “I was very disappointed by the efforts of the former Environment Minister Alex Attwood to establish a national park in Northern Ireland. I hope his successor will give this issue a greater priority.
“The Department of the Environment previously carried out a flawed consultation process over possible locations for a national park and seemed to concentrate on the Mournes. The new Minister must look to carry out a proper process which talks to the different groups on the ground and also gives consideration to other possible locations including the Giant’s Causeway, the Sperrins, the Fermanagh Lakes and Strangford Lough.
“There are clear benefits to be gained from having a national park, by improving the prestige of the area, boosting tourism and protecting the local environment.
“Northern Ireland is missing out by not having a national park. I hope the new Minister will find a resolution to this issue.”