Photograph shows Green Party Cllr Cadogan Enright and Green Party activist Pat Ward in the woods at Tobar Mhuire.

DOWN Councillor Cadogan Enright welcomed the Planning Service placing a temporary “blanket” Tree Preservation Order (TPO) on the Tobar Mhuire Monastery in Crossgar.

Cadogan Enright said “There was great sadness in the area when local people heard that this much-loved institution was to move and that Tobar Mhuire could be sold. The Green Party had been seeking to get the trees in the monastery subject to a TPO for some time, but this announcement made it all the more urgent to get the TPOs in place to ensure that any future development of the site would be sensitive to the valuable legacy on the site.”

“In addition to the Planning Service we contacted all other agencies and local groups to try and get them to express their concerns as well. Some of the woodland at Tobar Muire is pre-1600 and thus is very significant as less than 1% of the land in N.I. is covered by Ancient Woodland” continued Cllr Enright.

“The grounds of the Monastery are an important local resource and refuge for the people of Crossgar. This TPO will afford 6 months protection to all the trees within the site. During this period an aboriculturalists survey will be completed that will survey the health and condition of every tree.”

Cadogan Enright said, “We have been informed that once this survey has been completed, the provisional Order will be confirmed resulting in a tree specific Tree Preservation Order by the planning service. We welcome this timely intervention by the Planning Service”.

“The Green Party would like to thank the Woodland Trust for their help in this campaign, their prompt response to our request for help, when added to our own canvassing of the planning service seems to have got the results that local people were hoping for.” concluded Cllr Enright.

AREA TO BE COVERED BY TPOs – Click on the left link to download a map highlighting the area to be covered by TPOS.

Press Cuttings: Preservation order imposed on monastery’s ancient woodland, Preservation order at Crossgar monastery welcomed