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Bog bursts open beside Claudy windfarm prompting inspection

The Rivers Agency says it will inspect a potential watercourse obstruction after the bog broke apart near the Glenconway windfarm east of Claudy.

Jason Cooke of SSE, which owns the farm, said “unprecedented rainfall levels” at the site caused the collapse.

He told the Sentinel: “As a result of these extreme weather events a small volume of reinstated peat at the site entered an historical man-made drain and progressed to a nearby tributary of the Loughermore river.

“Working closely with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency’s (NIEA) Water Management Division we have taken the appropriate steps to contain any further entry from the drain and while additional works are ongoing we have undertaken emergency works to mitigate the risk of additional peat run-off entering the river.”

Concerned angler Glenn Kilkey had been travelling on the Baranailt Road to the North East of Claudy when he noticed what he believed was ‘a peat slide.’

Mr Kilkey wrote to the NIEA to report what he feared could have the potential to affect the nearby Burntollet and Loughermore rivers, which contribute to the Faughan.

But a spokesperson for NIEA told the Sentinel the ‘peat slide’ was principally a matter for the landowner.

A spokesperson for the Rivers Agency promised it would inspect the farm primarily from a flooding and drainage perspective.

“Rivers Agency has been made aware of a potential watercourse obstruction at this location and will schedule an inspection,” the spokesperson stated.

“The Agency’s interest in this is from a drainage and flood risk management perspective,” the spokesperson added.

“An initial assessment based on the photographs (see picture) and the location do not indicate a risk to life or property due to flooding. If people have any concerns about river obstructions they can contact the Rivers Agency Coleraine office on 028 7034 2357,” the spokesperson concluded.

Mr Cooke said: “As part of our normal ongoing site monitoring we will continue to assess the impact of the current weather conditions and we will take all appropriate actions to minimise the impact of any future weather events on environmental conditions at the site.”