UFU disappointed at Geopark approval

The UFU has said it is ‘extremely disappointed and concerned’ that the Global Geopark Council has approved the Mourne-Gullion-Strangford aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark application.
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Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) deputy president William Irvine said: "This region is made up of three Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Ring of Gullion, the Mournes and Strangford Lough and Lecale AONBs, and will affect the daily lives of many UFU members.

“We’ve been lobbying on the behalf of our members who work and reside in the Newry, Mourne and Down District Council area, continuously expressing their dissatisfaction to the Council about their plans to have the UNESCO Global Geopark branding applied to the district.

"However, it is now very evident that the Council have not listened to these concerns.

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“Our members are feeling extremely aggrieved about the lucrative promises that the Council have made, claiming that they will benefit from the UNESCO Global Geopark branding.

"Branding will do little good for our members other than restrict their activities and farming practices.

"Imposing a designation on this area will affect farmers’ livelihoods having a knock-on effect on all ratepayers in the area.

“The Mourne-Gullion Strangford aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark application still has to be ratified by the UNESCO Executive Board in Paris, May 2023 and we are hopeful that this board will take into consideration the concerns of local farmers and landowners,” the UFU deputy president concluded.