Iconic Dark Hedges trees face uncertain future due to safety concerns
The famous Dark Hedges trees in Northern Ireland, known for their appearance in the hit TV show Game of Thrones, could be cut down due to safety concerns. A recent report commissioned by the Department of Infrastructure and experts at Tree Safety has revealed that the majority of the trees are in poor condition, with one of them already dead. The report recommends the removal of 11 trees, six of which are protected by Tree Preservation Orders.
The Dark Hedges, a tunnel of beech trees located near Armory, County Antrim, have become a popular tourist attraction for fans of the HBO drama. However, the potential danger posed by the deteriorating condition of the trees has raised concerns about public safety. A meeting will be held this week to decide the fate of the trees, taking into consideration the health and safety risks they present.
The proposed plan for the road, which includes measures to ensure the continued presence of the protected trees for over 10 years, will also be discussed at the meeting. Rob McCallion, from the Save the Dark Hedges campaign group, warns that if action is not taken, someone could be seriously injured or killed due to the state of the trees. Mervyn Storey, a member of the Dark Hedges Preservation Trust, expresses his hope that the iconic landmark can be preserved, but acknowledges the lack of funding for an aggressive tree planting scheme.
The Dark Hedges were created in the late 18th century when 150 trees were planted along the Bregagh Road. Over the years, several trees have been lost to storms, leaving around 80 remaining. The decision regarding the fate of these trees will have a significant impact on the future of this beloved tourist attraction and cultural landmark.
As the meeting approaches, it is crucial to balance the preservation of this iconic site with the need to ensure public safety. The fate of the Dark Hedges will not only impact the local community but also the many Game of Thrones fans who have been drawn to Northern Ireland to experience the magic of the show’s filming locations. The decision made will shape the future of this natural wonder and will be closely watched by environmentalists, tourism officials, and fans alike.
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