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Sat 30 Sep, 2023
Saturday 30 Sep, 2023

Trigon Hotels
Co. Cork

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Group formed to protect local woodland recognised with Community Spirit Award
The Cork International Hotel award winners were chosen as a remarkable example of a community working together
 Mon 14th November 2022

Pictured: Cork International Hotel, Deputy General Manager, Edel Kavanagh presenting the Community Spirit Award to Anna Maria Mullally, on behalf of the 'Save Ballymartle Woods' Campaign. Pictured with Cora Lombard & Ballymartle volunteers: Nicola Barriscale & Andrew O'Connell, alongside Christopher O'Sullivan TD & Senator Tim Lombard.

The Save Ballymartle Woods campaign is the latest winner of the Cork International Hotel Community Spirit Awards. The group is made up of people from Ballymartle, Riverstick, Belgooly, Kinsale and surrounding areas who were concerned about the future of their local woods.

A 22 acre section of the woods was put up for sale by Coillte last year however the sale has been paused as the state agency considers proposals for a new public walkway to be created in the woods instead.

The Save Ballymartle Woods group started petitions, hosted events, issued press releases and held visits to showcase the woods, walkway, rich biodiversity and what is at stake for the community. They also succeeded in getting the matter raised in the Dáil.

The group continues to hold regular clean ups at the woods and promote environmental protection, biodiversity, and the conservation of the local amenity. A new footpath linking Riverstick Village to Ballymartle is being installed by Cork County Council and is nearing completion.

Deputy General Manager of the Cork International Hotel, Edel Kavanagh said, “The Save Ballymartle Woods campaign is a wonderful example of what can be achieved by communities working together. I am delighted to see them recognised with a Community Spirit Award. There is no playground or public recreational amenity in Riverstick apart from the local GAA pitch and Ballymartle Woods became a lifeline for local communities throughout the pandemic. Green spaces benefit everyone and are vital for sustainable communities. The group have great ambitions to further enhance the amenity by extending the woodland walk and I hope it comes to fruition.”

The awards are open to community groups and organisations in Cork from first-responders to community centres, victim support services to sports groups and those volunteering in the health and disability sectors.

Nominations are now open for next month's awards here.

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