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Help put the brakes on scrambler bikes at Carnmoney Hill

30 November 2017

Carnmoney Hill is one of Newtownabbey’s greatest natural landmarks.   This is one of the Belfast Hills – a chain of hills offering breath-taking views across Belfast Lough and the surrounding countryside. 

Thanks to a partnership with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, the Woodland Trust cares for 82 hectares (203 acres) of land here.  It’s a fantastic natural resource for people and a haven for precious wild inhabitants, from bats to buzzards.

Unfortunately this tranquil picture, together with the enjoyment of those who regularly use the hill, is being marred by scrambler bikes. 

The partners are voicing their concerns over damage to the woodland habitat, as well as the risk to the riders themselves and potential harm to others.

This site was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 2006, in recognition of its importance to both people and wildlife.   Maintaining a safe and welcoming environment is a priority for all involved in its management.

A spokesperson for the Woodland Trust said: “Carnmoney Hill is truly special, with both natural and built heritage offering a glimpse of days gone by.  Ancient hedgerows, mostly hawthorn and hazel, form quiet passageways.  And in springtime they are lined with wildflowers including bluebells and primroses. 

“We don’t want the actions of just a few to cause harm – whether damage to the woodland floor or distress to the many people who absolutely love walking here.”

The conservation charity is appealing to local residents and visitors to report sightings of scramblers on the hill immediately to the Police Service by calling 101.  With support, Carnmoney can return to its much-loved status.