Help us protect our special places!

Created on: Friday, 14 June 2019. Posted in: Press Releases

Help us protect our special places!

Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership are asking for your help in protecting our special places!

Coney Island, a much loved, secluded beach on the Lecale Coast, is part of the Strangford Lough and Lecale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Its’ habitats and wildlife are protected by several nature conservation designations, including as an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). The beach, and all the material on it, is protected by law. Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership urges anyone who is visiting this, or indeed any other beach to think again before taking shells, pebbles, drift wood or even sand home.

Judith Caldwell, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership said, “We were contacted by concerned Coney Island residents, who reported that beach material was being removed by visitors and members of the public. I would ask people to please not remove any natural material from our beaches, or damage or disturb the natural habitats in any way! It may only seem like a little to you, but everything on the beach has its place in nature; as a home or food or shelter for the wildlife that make this place so special.”

In response to these events, SLLP have produced some new signage and information leaflets   “Welcome to Coney Island Beach - Your home for the holidays, but the home of many different kinds of wildlife the whole year round!” This advice leaflet reminds all those that visit Coney Island of what a magical place it is and how important it is that we all take responsibility for protecting it.

The Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, Councillor Charlie Casey said “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is extremely proud of all of our special places. We take pride in our natural heritage, and encourage our visitors and residents alike to work with us to protect it. Coney Island is one of many hidden gems along our coast. Please help us to protect it by following the well-known principle ‘take only photographs, leave only footprints and kill nothing but time’. Leave our special places as you found them for all those that come after you to enjoy!”

A copy of the leaflet produced can be found here http://www.strangfordlough.org/images/publications/NMD_Coney_Island_Beach_Leaflet_v4.pdf

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