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Mourne's national park plan attacked

Posted 5 September 2012
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Mourne's national park plan attacked
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The possibility of the Mountains of Mourne in Northern Ireland becoming a national park has come under attack at a local meeting.

A gathering of 1,000 people at the Slieve Donard Hotel - named after the highest peak in the range - heard members of the Ulster Farmer's Union argue against the idea on the grounds that they would face more red tape in such a designated area, the BBC reports.

Northern Ireland's environment minister Alex Attwood - who wants two national parks to be created in the only part of Britain without one - was not at the meeting, called to assess public opinion.

While many love to go walking in the area, it is not just farmers who are against a national park.

The Mournes are an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and Valerie Hanna of the Mourne AONB residents group argued against national park status on the grounds that it would deter big businesses from locating there and push house prices up.

AONB status also applies to seven other areas of Northern Ireland - the Antrim Coast and Glens, Causeway Coast, Lagan Valley, Binevenagh, the Ring of Gullion, Sperrin and Starngford Lough.ADNFCR-2803-ID-801443253-ADNFCR