Gortin Glen Forest amongst parks to reopen to public

Gortin Glen Forest amongst parks to reopen to public
Darren Beattie


Darren Beattie



The car park at Gortin Glen Forest Park is one of a number of council-owned open spaces which will reopen on Wednesday, May 27.
Following a statement by the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs regarding the reopening of Forest Parks and the Public Angling Estate, and the easing of some restrictions announced recently by the Northern Ireland Executive car parks at Gortin Glen Forest Park, and at sites within the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark​ including Ely Lodge, Castle Archdale, Killykeegan, Lough Navar and Castle Caldwell will reopen.

Toilets, visitor amenities and play parks will remain closed at this time. No mobile food vendors will be permitted at the sites.
In addition, the Council is reopening the following Still Water Loughs to angling from Wednesday, May 27.

Drumacritten Lough;  Lough Acrussel; Lough Barry;  Lough Inver; Lough Lea; Lough Nayre; Lough Unshinagh; and Lyons Lough.

Killyfole Lough and Lough Eschleagh, which had previously been closed, reopened on Monday 18 May as part of DAERA’s Public Angling Estate.

The chairperson of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie, in welcoming the move, sounded a note of caution. “While the Council welcomes the easing of some restrictions by the Executive which enables it to reopen these sites, the safety of users remains the underlying priority.

"The signs are encouraging, but we have not yet reached the stage in the battle against the spread of Covid-19 to lower our guard.  

"I would encourage visitors to these areas to stay local, stay aware, adhere to existing social distancing protocols and respect the sites by taking litter home and leaving no trace.”

The car parks and facilities at Gortin Glens and the sites within the Geopark, were closed to the public on 25 March while still water loughs were closed on 31 March following guidance from the Public Health Agency and the government applicable at that time.

Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre and Cuilcagh Mountain Boardwalk will remain closed to the public.
Fermanagh and Omagh District Council will continue to actively review the status of its facilities in line with guidance from the NI Executive and with prevailing public health advice.

The council will at all times put the health and safety of its residents, visitors and staff at the forefront of its decision making in relation to the reopening and the day to day operations of its facilities.

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