Anti-social behaviour is destroying the “fabulous gem” that is Daisy Hill Nursery in Newry.
The issues have also had a big impact on the residents in the area, which prompted a multi-agency meeting with representatives from PSNI, PCSP and Newry Mourne and Down District Council.
Sinn Féin MLA Liz Kimmins has asked that the anti-social behaviour must stop.
On Friday, Ms Kimmins and colleague Councillor Charlie Casey met with the relevant statutory bodies to highlight serious concerns that have been brought to their attention by residents living in the area, as well as regular users of the beautiful trails that have been developed in this woodland area.
She said residents have reported noise, littering and other anti-social activity “which is not only impacting on their lives, but is destroying this fabulous gem in the heart of the community”.
Ms Kimmins added: “Over the last few years, there has been significant investment in redeveloping and enhancing the Nursery to make it more welcoming for the community to use at their leisure, and it really is a fantastic facility for all ages
“It is so disappointing to still see it being used for drinking and other anti-community activities, which is ruining the opportunity for others to enjoy this outdoor space.
“Myself and Councillor Casey arranged this meeting to try and address the issues, and coming out of that meeting I am pleased we have agreed some very positive actions.”
Councillor Casey added: “The PCSP and PSNI have given a commitment to monitor and increase patrols throughout this area, and have asked for local residents to ring 101 to report any incidents of anti-social behaviour going forward.
“The Council have also agreed to take practical steps by engaging with the Woodland Trust, who manage the site, and putting in place measures to maintain and protect this area.
“Sinn Féin representatives will continue to engage with the relevant bodies and to work with local residents to find the best possible solution to addressing these issues.
In conclusion, Ms Kimmins said: “We would also strongly appeal to those young people involved to be more mindful of the impact of their actions on the Nursery and those people living in the vicinity.
“By all means, we want everyone to enjoy it but in a respectful and considerate way.”