Lough Beg is one of Ireland’s most special wetlands for birds, a site of international importance but local farmers and nature conservationists are calling on everyone opposed to the plan to re-route the A6 between Randalstown and Castledawson to join them. They hope such an alliance will assert influence on the government that will lead to a re-think of its long-term regional transport strategy.
The group ‘Lough Beg for Life’ believes the government’s preferred route for this controversial scheme will lead to huge and irrevocable damage to the internationally acclaimed Lough Neagh and Lough Beg Special Protection Area.
Lough Beg is a flight way for thousands of migratory birds and where, on meadows such as The Creagh, hundreds of Icelandic Whooper Swans spend half the year between October and March. After centuries of land fragmentation and decades of building in the countryside, these bird-rich meadows now represent the regions’ largest intact area of lowland wet grassland, one of the scarcest natural habitats in Northern Ireland. ‘Lough Beg for Life’ is calling on everyone with an interest in Lough Beg and a love of nature, to join them in opposing the government’s preferred A6 re-routing through The Creagh.
Any artists or photographers might also be interested in a painting and photography competition themed "Lough Beg for Life' with prizes and an exhibition in Castledawson from 13-15 April. The competition will be judged and the exhibition opened by Gordon D'Arcy wildlife artist and author of the classic 'Birds at Lough Beg'. For more information on taking part or supporting the campaign to save Lough Beg from this road proposal, birders can phone Rosalind Mulholland on 028 79 386235.