Speaking at the official opening of Castlewellan Forest Park last week, Major James D Chichester-Clark, the Minister of Agriculture, described the park as “an outstanding example of how the natural beauty of a forest area can be developed and maintained without detriment to commercial forestry”.
Major Chichester-Clark said that the park was the third of its kind to be opened by the Ministry of Agriculture.
Referring to the history of the Castlewellan estate, he said that much care and attention had been devoted to it by Mr Cyril Annesley and his family.
“Commercial forestry has been practised extensively and successfully and there are large areas of well maintained plantations in the estate,” the Minister stated.
“There is also in the estate a garden arboretum, begun as far back as 1870 by one of Mr Annesley’s family and improved and added to by succeeding generations.
“This arboretum, in which can be found many rare and exotic trees and which is one of the finest in the United Kingdom, will be of the utmost interest to all foresters and lovers of trees,” said the Minister.
He added that it was the Ministry’s intention to maintain and extend the arboretum and revealed that Mr Annesley had agreed to advise on its maintenance.