O’Dowd reaffirms commitment to promoting biodiversity and protecting the environment

O’Dowd reaffirms commitment to promoting biodiversity and protecting the environment


Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has reaffirmed his commitment to promoting biodiversity to help address the climate and nature emergency.


Minister for Infrastructure John O’Dowd is pictured with Billy Miller, DfI Roads

Minister for Infrastructure John O’Dowd is pictured with Billy Miller, DfI Roads

The Minister was speaking on a site visit to the A6 where over 1.2million trees were planted on the route between Belfast and Derry. 

Minister O’Dowd said:

“We all have a responsibility to protect the environment and it is something I take very seriously.  When I was previously in office I initiated a new approach for the maintenance of roadside grass verges which aimed to maintain the right balance between road safety and the control of grass and weeds while achieving a greater focus on environmental protection.

“In addition, when my Department constructs major roads schemes, attention is paid to the existing environment, the potential impact of the road, and possible mitigation measures.  Existing hedges and trees are a valued element of the environment providing habitats and wildlife corridors, absorbing carbon, and providing pleasing landscapes.  Road schemes attempt to maintain or enhance this valuable resource.

“I am pleased therefore that as well as providing huge benefits for road users, businesses and local communities, in delivering the two major A6 schemes, my department has also balanced those benefits with the environmental impacts.  Over 1.2million trees have been planted on the A6 road including almost 508,000 trees on the Randalstown to Castledawson dualling scheme and 760,000 trees on the Dungiven to Drumahoe scheme.    

“I am keen to see what more we can do to protect and create important habitats for wildlife to help address the very real climate and nature emergency.  This will be a priority for me as Minister.”  

Notes to editors: 

  1. Photo caption: Minister for Infrastructure John O’Dowd is pictured with Billy Miller, DfI Roads
  2. The 1.2 million trees planted on the A6 road include almost 508,000 trees on the Randalstown to Castledawson dualling scheme and 760,000 trees on the Dungiven to Drumahoe scheme, ranging from 300mm “whips” in hedges to 5m tall trees, in a range of largely native species. 
  3. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office at: [email protected]
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.
  5. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure.

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