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Damage at Darkley Forest Park will delay completion of new trails network

Public asked to 'respect this new community recreation provision'

Damage caused to new forest trails at Darkley will mean the completion will now take longer than first thought.

It is not known for how long the scheme – which was due to be completed next month – will be delayed.

But there have been further calls for people to desist from any activity which would cause harm to the new development at Darkley Forest Park.

Deep rut marks can be seen in the mud as the trails are being laid.

And quad bikes and horse riders are being blamed for the damage.

SDLP Councillor Sharon Haughey-Grimley has urged those with quad bikes and horses using the trails to “stop as it’s ruining the surface”.

“We’ve made great progress on the new 4.6km walking trails in Darkley Forest,” she said.

“It was due to be completed for April but unfortunately people with quad bikes and horses have already damaged the surface and has set the project back.

“This £300,000 project will regenerate the Darkley Forest into a recreation space for the people of Darkley and surrounding areas, providing an extensive walking trail in the great outdoors.

“The trail is for walkers and runners only. I would urge anyone who has used this facility with quads or horses to stop as you will ruin the surface.

“This is a community facility to be enjoyed by all. It has taken considerable time to design and source funding and we hope that the trails will be there for many years to come.

“This is something the people of Darkley should be proud of and I would ask everyone to respect this new community recreation provision.”

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