Lecale Conservation Association lobbied Council Management to change environmentally unfriendly practices at the 33 beaches controlled by Newry Mourne and Down District Council.

Council had extended its parks practice of mowing to less than a inch and spraying around the edges to its beaches. While this is never good environmental practice and damages the sustainability of pollinators, it is a particularly devastating practice on beaches.

The roots of plants keep beaches and the lands around beaches stable and repeated spraying causes extensive erosion. This had occurred at Kilclief, Ballyhornan and Tyrella in our area and at other beaches along the coast.

Lecale Conservation has succeeded in designating areas of public lands as being prioritised for sea flower meadows and only cut on late November. We have also obtained £1500 funding for an acre of wildflower meadow being restored at Ballyhornan beach.

Only a minority of land is now mowed at these locations around paths and the number of times has been reduced, proving once again that ‘going green’ is always cheaper.

As this not yet been published as a ‘Policy’ , it is as yet only ‘custom and practice’. Undertakings by Newry Mourne and Down District Council to publish a policy has not occurred and not all staff have been trained which still results in regular issues with wild-flower meadows cared for by local communities being strimmed to nothingness from time to time at different locations. In this picture we can see local redisents in Kilclief upset over the spraying of wildflower areas grown by the community association to improve the beach.

Lecale Conservation is working with elected representatives to have this policy published and to have all staff trained.