Castlewellan Arboretum & Annesley Garden update

Posted: 22/8/2012

It is understood that in a Northern Ireland Assembly Question dated 10 July 2012 (ref. 13346/11-15) Kieran McCarthy MLA asked Michelle O’Neill MLA (Minister of Agrigculture and Rural Development) the following question:

Kieran McCarthy asked:

"To ask the Minister of Agrigculture and Rural Development how much funding has been allocated to the feasibility study, economic appraisal and capital works required to upgrade the National Arboretum at Castlewellan Forest Park"

Michelle O’Neill MLA (Minister of Agrigculture and Rural Development) Answered:

"There is currently no specific budget set aside for this purpose.

Forest Service has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Down District Council which creates a framework to increase opportunities for the recreational use and tourism potential of the forests within Down District Council area. The arboretum will be one of the areas considered jointly by both partners with the aim of securing a long term viable end use and to deliver the Excutive commitment to set a good example in the care of its historic estate.

Forest Service is currently in the process of obtaining estimates for the essential repairs to the glasshouses and built structures within the arboretum," END

In general the NIHGC wishes to make it known that they are very aware of the horticultural significance of the collection in the arboretum and are willing to assist in any way they can to horticulturally, botanically and most importantly dendrologically conserve and protect the collection for the enjoyment and education of future generations, not only those from within the island of Ireland but for the many international visitors and researchers.

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