A road (the new A6 Road) is currently under construction (and parts are already completed) and it is being built across the Lough beg flood plain in Northern Ireland. This wetland is the habitat of countless creatures including precious indigenous species and is also the same land known as the birthplace of Seamus Heaney. Heaney described the destruction of Lough Beg via the construction of the new A6 Road as being a, ‘wound on the ecology,’ of Northern Ireland.
The new A6 Road will encompass 4 lanes of dual carriageway which will be built through the largest intact wetland in Northern Ireland. My heart aches at the thought of the Whooper Swans that migrate to that area from Iceland every winter. More than 20% of the swan’s UK population live in NI and they are an Amber listed NI priority species.
The part in particular that gets to me personally is how unnecessary it is. There have been nine alternative routes discovered that would be considerably less damaging and although the route takes about 10 minutes off the journey time, it will mean 32,000 vehicles going through irreplaceable wetland every single day. The numbers just don’t add up morally.
This is one small yet highly ecologically, culturally and historically significant example of how dangerous this myth of eternal growth is. It is not sustainable to keep expanding beyond nature’s limits. Humanity’s mistakes are catching up to us. Don’t let the Whooper Swan be one of the 200 species that will go extinct tomorrow.
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Photo creds: route map- NI Direct government website, swan- natures-images