• Love Ballymena

“It’s sNOw fun!” | NI Water reopens Killylane after closure due to crowds attracted by snow

Photo: Niall Olone

Northern Ireland Water has confirmed that the Killylane Reservoir has reopened to the public from today (Wednesday 27 January).

The local County Antrim beauty spot was closed to public access on Monday (25 January) after families flooded to the secluded reservoir, attracted by the heavy snowfall and potential for some wintry fun.

It was reported however on Sunday that the Air Ambulance was tasked to the area after a young girl was injured while sledging down the slopes of the dam.

The announcement of the closure of the facility on Love Ballymena drew a mixed response on social media:

“Was there at the weekend was a fantastic atmosphere. Families with kids enjoying the snow. Shame on Northern Ireland Water and this decision will just increase crowding at other outdoor beauty spots. You’ll not keep us at home!”

“It's for this very reason that public places have to be closed, because we have no idea how to social distance, or perhaps it's we don't want to. Has anyone of you had Covid? Believe me it's very real, I've had it. Be sensible this will pass.”

“Seriously! No wonder children's mental health is in such a decline. Allowed to exercise for a hour within 10 miles and public spaces are being shutdown. In the first lockdown Ballyboley and other public places were closed. Let's hope we dont go back to that level of stupidity again.”

Northern Ireland Water told Love Ballymena:

“NI Water made a decision to temporarily close Killylane Reservoir to visitors due to adverse weather conditions. While we were delighted to see the public enjoying the Reservoir, unfortunately the lying snow was proving too tempting to some who brought sledges and other items to go down the slopes at speed. While this may seem like harmless fun, it is a dangerous activity. There are rocks at the bottom of the slope that are there to prevent vehicles accessing the slopes.

The activities seen over recent days could also be detrimental to the surface and structure of the reservoir embankment itself.

“While we welcome and encourage people to access many of our sites throughout Northern Ireland, we need everyone to be careful and respect the area they are visiting. They are working sites that often have very cold water and are not designed for leisure activities other than walking or those identified with NI Water’s Recreation and Access Policy.

“Killylane will reopen today, Wednesday 27 January. The only other site that was closed due to weather conditions was Silent Valley and this will reopen today as well.”

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