Hundreds attend UFU meeting to oppose National Park in the Antrim Glens
Thursday, 15 November, 2012
Over 600 people, Ulster Farmers’ Union members and non-members including local residents and business people, have attended the UFU North Antrim Group meeting to publicly express their opposition to a National Park in the Antrim Coast and Glens.
UFU President Harry Sinclair, who attended the meeting said; “Farmers and the wider community in the Antrim Coast and Glens area who attended our meeting have overwhelmingly expressed their outright opposition to a National Park in their locality. Once again a very clear message has been sent to the Environment Minister Alex Attwood that farmers and others do not want and will not support a National Park in their area. Recently the Minister scrapped proposals for a National Park in the Mournes due to the level of opposition and we are in no doubt that the same depth of opposition is present in the other areas of Northern Ireland earmarked in the National Park proposals. This has been demonstrated clearly with this meeting in North Antrim. Farmers genuine concerns about issues such as additional bureaucracy, additional restrictions, governance, access, liability, and the impact on the social structure of their areas were once again outlined by speaker after speaker”.
Harry Sinclair re-stated the UFU support for the objective of developing tourism and job creation in Northern Ireland’s rural areas, but highlighted the UFU view that this could be achieved more effectively if the funding earmarked for the establishment and operation of National Parks was instead re-directed at tourism promotion and supporting infrastructure development.
UFU members at the North Antrim meeting passed the following resolution: “The North Antrim Group of the UFU call for the immediate abolition of the proposal to designate any part of the Causeway Coast & Glens as a National Park".