Work on the Midlands Amenity Park outside Moate is to begin in the coming week, after contracts were signed for work on the conservation, education, and tourism facility.
Contracts were signed last Friday January 25 with Liffey Developments Ltd, a leading landscape engineering company which specialises in park developments. Work on the park will commence on February 11, with 80 per cent of the work to be completed in July/August 2013.
The park will incorporate wetlands for birds and an amenity park with playgrounds, trails, and extensive landscaping with native trees. The 20.25 acre site includes a wetlands/ turlough covering 7.8 acres and the amenity park will cover 12.5 acres. The proposed development will consist of an education centre, a children’s playground, a wetland reserve, and 12.5 acres of planted parkland.
Chairman of Midlands Amenity Park Ltd, Frank Kelly, expressed delight at the signing of the contract documents for work on the park at Knockdomney, Moate, on the site of a former cowpark.
Mr Kelly thanked “the people of Moate and the surrounding area and the Westmeath Community Development Board for their ongoing financial support for the project”.
He also thanked Westmeath County Council for their support and encouragement.
“After three years hard work by the association it is now becoming a reality,” he added.
The park, which is costing €0.75m is receiving 75 per cent funding from the Rural Development (LEADER ) Programme, while the remaining 25 per cent has been raised through corporate sponsorship and local fundraising.
The area of land, known as the ‘cow park’, is owned by Westmeath County Council and is situated between Dún Na Sí Heritage Centre and Moate Wildlife Sanctuary. Future plans include proposals for a wetland/ turlough interactive centre which will have themed exhibition galleries, a theatre, and a resource centre.
The group are working in conjunction with local schools and the Department of Education to develop the park as part of the Discover Science Programme. The group has also sponsored an ‘artist in residence’ to work with local transition year students on a number of art pieces for the park. The park will also be home to ‘Gráinne Óg’ by artist Ann Meldon-Hugh.
The park will feature several webcams and time lapse cameras to record fauna activity and to capture seasonal change. A bird hide, designed by a local artist, will be erected alongside the wetlands/ turlough area. Additional temporary hides will be erected at appropriate locations during the nesting season.
Extensive planting is proposed which will consist of native Irish trees only. A wildlife meadow and cornfield with information trails and hazel woodland will also be provided.