North Down Alliance Party Representatives Andrew Muir MLA and Councillor Martin McRandal have welcomed planned upgrades at Cairn Wood Forest in Craigantlet whilst appealing for patience with car park to remain closed in order to enable the works to occur.
Ards and North Down Borough Council have been awarded funding from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs. The first phase involves extension of the Car Park and new toilet facility. The second phase involves improvements to the walking trails. The walking trails will be made more suitable for family / casual cycling rather than mountain biking in light of consultation responses received by Council. A trail designer has been commissioned to develop detailed plans.
Works were due to commence in March 2020 but were put on hold due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Works will start on 15 June and complete in October 2020. Both the car park and woodland will be closed for this period.
Andrew Muir MLA remarked “After leading a concerted and successful campaign involving nearly 3,000 people signing a Petition to Save Cairn Wood I’m delighted to see works soon due to commence to upgrade parts of the very popular Forest. With Cairn Wood now firmly in public hands, fully owned by the Forest Service by managed by the Council a long term future can be developed in sympathy to current scenic surroundings and liaison with key users who were critical in efforts to stop sale of the Forest to the highest bidder.
I will be engaging with Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in due course to ensure funding flows to enable the Council to progress plans previously developed and consulted upon.”