Hyde Park dam busting is labelled ‘an atrocity’

Hydepark Dam in Mallusk (before).
Hydepark Dam in Mallusk (before).

Mallusk residents are up-in-arms after what some have termed the ‘virtual destruction’ of a local beauty spot and wildlife habitat.

Hyde Park Dam was drained dry after a perimeter wall was damaged recently - apparently by a digger.

Hyde Park Dam in Mallusk (after).

Hyde Park Dam in Mallusk (after).

Local people now fear that wild birds, which are protected by legislation, may have died or had nests disturbed.

The incident has been investigated by police.

Thousands of gallons of water are believed to have flowed into an adjoining river from the dam which is privately owned.

The PSNI has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances.

Resident Dean Murray said: “There are now only two swans left in the dam. It is an absolute atrocity.

“The dam is used for fishing. It is a big part of the Mallusk community. Because we live in the community, it means a lot to us.”

DUP councillor Matthew Magill was one of a number of local elected representatives who visited the scene four times last week, The PSNI has also inspected the site.

Cllr. Magill said: “For something like this to happen at this time of year when it is nesting season is not ideal.

“For decades, it has been a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the locality and I am very disappointed to see such a beautiful area virtually destroyed. Residents feel a natural asset has been taken away.”

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council confirmed that an enforcement officer had visited the site and is monitoring activity.

A spokesman for Hyde Park Dam Ltd said: “Work was carried out to Hyde Park Dam as a result of a statutory obligations under section 10 of the Reservoirs Act as a result of an independent engineering report. On March 28, we received notification from the Rivers Agency advising us that we should start work to avoid the possibility of flooding.

“We acted swiftly and responsibly to carry out the necessary works and ensure the safety of local residents and the local area.”