Minister checks out Nelly’s Dam project

Jo Campbell, Northern Ireland Environment Agency; Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan; Lindsay Houston, Newtownabbey Borough Council's Biodiversity Officer; Mayor Fraser Agnew and John Webster, Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association at Nelly's Dam.
Jo Campbell, Northern Ireland Environment Agency; Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan; Lindsay Houston, Newtownabbey Borough Council's Biodiversity Officer; Mayor Fraser Agnew and John Webster, Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association at Nelly's Dam.

Environment Minister Mark H Durkan visited Newtownabbey last week to discuss bank enhancement works on the Three Mile Water river at Nelly’s Dam.

Following his recent announcement of £10,000 of funding for work along the stretch of river near Monkstown, Mr Durkan met with council officials and local conservationists to see how the bank enhancement project will improve the waterway.

Work is due to commence at Nelly’s Dam this week and expected to last for a two-week period.

Newtownabbey Borough Council has appointed contractor M Large to carry out the work, while members of Three Mile Water Conservation and Angling Association are surveying the river before and after the project to demonstrate the improvement to water quality. The council plans to plant trees along the river bank over the winter months and is encouraging members of the local community to volunteer to help with the planting.

“It is always great to see local people getting involved to improve their local environment. In this case it’s the rivers in their local area. These grants enable communities to use their local knowledge of rivers in their area to make a positive, targeted difference,” the Minister commented.

“I want to build on our positive relationships with the community and voluntary sector so that we can all do our bit for the water environment to ensure protection of our fish and wider marine life.”

Speaking about the funding allocation, Mayor Fraser Agnew added: “The investment in Nelly’s Dam at Three Mile Water is very welcome and will be a great boost to the council’s commitment to making Newtownabbey a greener, cleaner borough. The stabilisation of the banks will improve the water quality and the site for native biodiversity, fish, insects, mammals, birds and dragonflies to name a few.”

For further details, or to volunteer for tree planting during the winter months, contact Lindsay Houston, Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Biodiversity Officer, on 028 9034 0069.