Environment Minister Edwin Poots MLA has visited Tollymore Forest Park to celebrate The Queen's Platinum Jubilee by planting a small grove of trees within the park, as part of the Queen's Green Canopy (QGC) initiative.
The QGC is a unique tree planting initiative which invites people across the UK to "Plant a tree for the Jubilee" to create a legacy in honour of The Queen's leadership of the nation, which will benefit future generations.
Opened in June 1955, Tollymore Forest Park is Northern Ireland's first state forest park attracting over 200,000 visits per annum. It covers an area of almost 630 hectares at the foot of the Mourne Mountain and acts as a gateway for walkers and visitors to the wider geographical area and has panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the sea at Newcastle.
Minister Poots stated after his visit: "I was delighted to visit Tollymore Forest Park to recognise the contribution the park has made for society. Tollymore is a popular amenity both for tourists and local people, providing wonderful walks, views and rich cultural heritage.
The Minister continued: "The QGC is a unique initiative which encourages people to play their part to enhance our environment by planting trees and appreciate the contribution of trees and woodland to help mitigate against the impacts of climate change, create important plant and wildlife habitats, enhance our environment and provide a wide-range of benefits to the local community.
Concluding, Minister Poots said: "The significant value of trees and woodlands is promoted by my Department's Forests for Our Future Programme which aims to create 9,000 hectares of new woodland by 2030 by raising the importance of forests and encouraging landowners to plant new woodlands."