The potential of farmers to play a role in easing the borough-wide eyesore caused by overgrown roadside grass and hedges has been raised at a meeting of Mid & East Antrim Council.
The ongoing problem got a fresh airing at last Monday night’s monthly meeting of the local authority after councillors were informed that Ahoghill and Glenarm had been entered in the international competition, ‘Communities in Bloom’.
Pointing out that international judges were just weeks away from arriving in Ahoghill, Deputy Mayor Timothy Gaston proposed that Council approach Transport NI/DRD for extra resources for grass cutting.
He said: “Once again Mid & East Antrim are leading the way right throughout the UK. It’s another fantastic achievement and is testament to the hard work of their (Glenarm and Ahoghill) communities”.
Backing his proposal, Cr Gordon Lyons said he believed Ahoghill and Glenarm were the only two entries from the UK taking part, adding: “that’s something we should be very proud of indeed.”
It is understood Ahoghill is through to the final stage in the International Challenge Medium category along with fellow finalists Estes Park (Colorado), Jasper (Alberta, Canada), Stettler (Alberta) and Trail (BC, Canada).
While praising both villages, Cr Paul Maguire said Council should lobby Transport NI with regard to grass cutting for all villages and was told by their Chief Executive Anne Donaghy that she had already written to the DRD Minister.
Cr Beth Adger, however, asked Mrs Donaghy to look at the potential role farmers could play, pointing out that she had noticed farmers cutting along roadsides on a recent visit to Omagh.
Cr Geraldine Mulvenna said she had seen farmers carrying out similar work at Feystown and Cairncastle.