- 13 Nov 23
Several trees in the Dark Hedges in Co. Antrim – which have become famous thanks to HBO's Game Of Thrones – are set to be cut down next week.
Six trees are set to be cut down and remedial work will be carried out on several others in the Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland.
Stormont’s Department of Infrastructure said removal and remedial work will begin at the site in Co Antrim on 20 November after concerns were raised about the state of the trees. Several of them have blown down due to storms in recent years.
The trees in Bregagh Road, near Stranocum, are on privately owned land. There were originally around 150 trees with only 86 of them remaining.
They have been famous since the Dark Hedges featured in HBO's Game Of Thrones attracting a significant number of tourists from around the world.
A spokesman from the department said: “Following concerns about the condition of some of the trees, the department commissioned an independent specialist survey which found that 11 trees, out of a total of 86, along this route are in a poor condition and could pose a potential risk to the public."
“The department immediately liaised with the relevant landowners and other stakeholders; however, given the urgency of the work required, arrangements have now been made to remove six of the trees (stump retained) and carry out remedial work to four trees, to reduce the risk to the wider public."
“The condition of one further tree will be assessed on-site."
“This decision has not been made lightly and, whilst the amenity value afforded by the corridor of trees is acknowledged, the safety of road users is paramount."
“The department will continue to engage with landowners and other stakeholders regarding their implementation of a suitable management strategy to protect the future of the other 75 trees.”
The spokesman continued: “Completion of the works on or before 24 November is dependent on favourable weather conditions; however the department will keep the public informed of any change."
“All work will be carried out in line with current public health and health and safety advice, with safe systems of working in place for staff and contractors."
“The Bregagh Road, which is already closed to traffic at this location, will also be closed to pedestrians during these planned works."
“The department apologises for any inconvenience. In order to ensure the safety for the contractors and the public, everyone is asked to comply with the road closures and restrictions.”
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