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Group Formed To Protect Local Woodland Recognised With Community Spirit Award

The Save Ballymartle Woods campaign is the latest winner of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards. The group is made up of people from Ballymartle, Riverstick, Belgooly, Kinsale and surrounding areas who were concerned about the future of their local woods.

A 22 acre section of the woods was put up for sale by Coillte last year however the sale has been paused as the state agency considers proposals for a new public walkway to be created in the woods instead.

The Save Ballymartle Woods group started petitions, hosted events, issued press releases and held visits to showcase the woods, walkway, rich biodiversity and what is at stake for the community. They also succeeded in getting the matter raised in the Dáil.

Pic: Siobhan Russell

The group continues to hold regular clean ups at the woods and promote environmental protection, biodiversity, and the conservation of the local amenity. A new footpath linking Riverstick Village to Ballymartle is being installed by Cork County Council and is nearing completion.

Deputy General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Edel Kavanagh said, “The Save Ballymartle Woods campaign is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by communities working together. I am delighted to see them recognised with a Community Spirit Award. There is no playground or public recreational amenity in Riverstick apart from the local GAA pitch and Ballymartle Woods became a lifeline for local communities throughout the pandemic. Green spaces benefit everyone and are vital for sustainable communities. The group have great ambitions to further enhance the amenity by extending the woodland walk and I hope it comes to fruition.”

The Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards are sponsored by The Carrigdhoun Newspaper and Gerald McCarthy Giftware.

The judging panel for the Community Spirit Awards are made up of a mixture of representatives from the public and private sector within the community.

The judging panel for this award was:

Carmel Lonergan Group Director of Operations, Trigon Hotels

Nicola Radley Senior Executive Officer, Municipal District Operations & Rural Development at Cork County Council

Aisling Killilea Bank of Ireland Manager Carrigaline and Douglas

Vincent O'Donovan & Jack White The Carrigdhoun Newspaper

Nominations are now open for next month's awards at:

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