Proposals are now in place to remove the popular animal enclosure and the
deer herd from Gosford Forest Park.
The Forest Park holds the annual Armagh Agricultural show that attracts thousands of visitors every June.
It has also been suggested that the annual poultry fair which attracts around 4000 people is set to be axed as part of this latest cost cutting exercise by DARD.
Responding to this news, UKIP Representative for Newry and Armagh,
Adam Watt has said:
“This news is deeply regretful following the previously positive news that DARD has planned to add additional investment in the forestry service due to extra funds made available to them from the Department of finance.
At a time when we should be capitalising and improving our local
attractions, this sort of decision would almost certainly rip the heart out of the park. Gosford Forest Park is a
beautiful spot, and whilst there can be no doubt that over past few years the park has been under developed and numbers have dwindled; It still has the potential to be a success.
I believe that there should be a public consultation carried out in
the Local area before any final decisions are made on this matter. This park is part of the fabric of our local community. It is a visitor attraction for people near and far and it should not be discarded as part of another rash DARD decision.”
Mr Watt added:
“The way in which the park has been run in recent times is a disaster. Those
in charge should in no doubt be better managing the money that they
have to spend. Perhaps they should also consider getting community groups involved more by opening a Forestry Rangers volunteer scheme, getting the local community involved in ways that facilitates both DARD and the local community.
The park is a place for the entire community. This is our space. Instead of taking from it, we should be adding to its value and thinking of ways to
improve it. I hope that some common sense will prevail here.”
UKIP Newry and Armagh Representative