The former Mayor of Ballymoney Bill Kennedy visited the town’s Riverside Park to mark the completion of the River Restoration Project, delivered with investment from Council, DARD Rivers Agency and DCAL Inland Waterways & Fisheries.
The project’s aim was to return a boating lake on the Ballymoney River to its original route doing away with the weir which inhibited fish movement. The new arrangement will allow fish to get upriver and spawn. The impetus for the project was the ongoing cost of dredging the boating lake, which stimulated broader thinking towards a more sustainable plan for the site.
The next stage of work is to create a natural wetland floodplain habitat, planting water-loving plants, wild flowers and native shrubs, along the new path, encouraging bees, butterflies, dragonflies. This will be followed by an investment of £200,000 for refurbishment of the amenity block and surrounding car park area. Work is expected to be complete by mid/late May 2015.
At its meeting on 30th January, the Council for Nature Conservation and the Countryside endorsed the declaration of Ballymoney Riverside Park by Council as a Local Nature Reserve.
Mr Kennedy said: “This restoration project demonstrates the benefits of multi-agency working and funding which has greatly enhanced this urban environment.