Minerstown is the location of a well-known seal colony on the Lecale Coast and the shingles along the beach an important nesting ground for shore-nesting birds.

I have been working with local residents and with Down Council officials for some years to enable Down District Council t0 create a precedent in N.Ireland and create its own bye-laws to protect wildlife. We conviced management at Down District Council that this could be part of a plan to work towards sustainable tourism, preseving the best in the District for the long term and future generations.  see this link for update March 2012 ,  see this link for update on campaign 24/July/2012 , see this link for suggestion to Minister on how bye-laws could be done better in NI June 2013 (note still no result and 6 years later our beaches have no bye laws

Some if the successes in this campaign so far have been;

– Convincing management at Down District Council of the importance of this task LINK TO SLIDE SHOW

-Getting Department of the Environment to alter the ‘vires’  of Down District Council to allow it to make bye-laws (this led to pre-mature celebration see link)

– Getting an early draft set of bye-laws agreed    Bye-laws for Minerstown Beach2008  (has moved on since then)

– Progress has now been blocked by the legal department at the DOE for 2 years (as of Feb 2012) for reasons of (seriously) obtuse obdurate bureauocracy. This has not only damaged the Councils ability to deliver wildlife bye-laws at Minerstown, but blue-flag bye-laws at Tyrella and Bye-Laws for the Prominade at Newcastle. I made an FoI request for a tabulated list of the extraordinary plethora of unnecessary queries and delays by the department which I posted 0n 1st March 2012 (click HERE at the bottom of press release) to expose the Departments role in this matter. I intend to use  this to embarrass those concerned and to feed the information to Minister Attwood, whose predecessor Mr Poots assured us that staff at the DOE would not allow any delay 2 years ago.