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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Council to get money from trees at Carnfunnock Country Park

Tree planting at Carnfunnock

Tree planting at Carnfunnock Country Park outside Larne will result in a payment of £1,200 per acre for Mid and East Antrim Borough Council through “carbon credits” from the Woodland Trust.


A report presented to the council’s Neighbourhoods and Communities Committee, at a meeting on Tuesday evening, said the planting of 26,000 trees, over 35 acres in partnership with the Woodland Trust, would enable the council to receive an initial payment of almost £30,000 while helping to meet tree planting targets and extending wildlife habitat at Carnfunnock.



The site was planted through funding from the Woodland Trust in December 2022. It is located adjacent to the proposed new cemetery site at Old Glenarm Road.


The report said the Woodland Trust has approached the council to sign legal agreements “to enable validation of the planting and the draw down of carbon payments”.


The first payment of 70 per cent is made when trees are “validated” but the remainder, amounting to £12,600, will not be made for 20 years and only if the site is still maintained in woodland.



It is expected establishing a “carbon woodland” at Carnfunnock Country Park has the potential to help the council meet its Zero Carbon target and progress towards government targets for woodland creation and carbon offsetting.


It will enable the offsetting of 5,200 tonnes of carbon annually.


Previously, Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has weighed up the potential of a solar farm at Carnfunnock. However, it was considered the proposed site may not have access to an “end user for potential electricity generated” and although the ground space would “allow for a substantial number of panels, the electricity production would far outweigh the site requirements”.



Proposing the committee approved the recommendation to proceed the legal agreements with the Woodland Trust, Coast Road DUP Councillor Angela Smyth said:


“This is a very positive scheme, The fact we are getting an income is even better.”


Cllr Smyth also welcomed the opportunity to see plans for a proposed £6m upgrade of Carnfunnock Country Park during a public community consultation event to take place at Larne Town Hall on January 29.


A display of proposals will be put on show at Carnfunnock from January 15 when information will also be available to view online.




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