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Community Groups Boost

Environment Minister Mark Durkan has praised Newry and South Armagh Community Groups who have become beneficiaries to DOE funding. Mr Durkan commended the work of The Ring of Gullion Natural Beauty Group, who were awarded funding in June through the National Environment Fund. The Minister also took the opportunity to visit two of the three community groups in Newry and South Armagh who will benefit from the DOE’s Challenge Fund. Upon meeting with The Ring of Gullion and Cooley Red Squirrel Group and Ballyholland’s Sunshine Club he has seen firsthand how the funds will be spent. A third project that has been awarded funding from the Challenge Fund, the County Armagh Wildlife Society (CAWS) will produce an ID Guide for 24 species of declining plants. Commending the groups Mr Durkan said: “It is tremendous to see people in Newry and South Armagh coming together to produce innovative schemes to advance their local environment. I commend them for it. Recently I announced that 33 community groups across the North were successful in attaining Challenge funding for their projects. When I launched the fund a key requirement was not only would the local environment would improve but there had to be a tangible benefit for the local community. These groups have delivered that in spades derelict land will bloom. People, often vulnerable will blossom with new skills.” The Minister added: “I have pledged that all money raised from our 5p levy on carrier bags would be ploughed back into the environment. The Challenge Fund and the Natural Environment Fund are two ways of doing that. “

Newry Democrat

1st September 2015