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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
simon3
2012-08-20 08:49:02
"Newcastle Hydro Scheme works." from simon3 Contract pics
Picture: Newcastle Hydro Scheme works. (Contract pics)

Mournes Hydro Works.
Walking up beside the Glen River from the carpark in Newcastle is much the same as it always has been or at least as we, relatively infrequent visitors have experienced it . There is a wooded way with a charmingly rustic old track beside the river. On the trip you encounter two bridges. Enchanting - although enjoyment may be briefly curtailed by the rubbish around where various people camp in a small area near the start. You will cross a road at the first bridge where there has been some road widening (top right picture) and a sign identifying the works as belonging to the Newcastle Hydro Scheme. Perhaps other readers of the website can identify whether hydro in this context means water supply, flood control or electricity generation. Or a mixture of these.

Proceeding further upwards to the second bridge on Aug 19th 2012, there is further work all of which appears to be consistent with the hydro scheme. There are pipes, some already installed (bottom right) and a pile of further pipes presumably for tapping into the river further upstream.

The forest is clearly a mixed use place with roads for timber extraction and water infrastructure as well as routes for recreational users. There does not appear to be any attempts at alterations to the developed recreational path except insofar as you can see where the works for other purposes have taken place. There are indeed risks to recreation in any development. If the amount of water being abstracted was excessive then yes the rushing glen wouldn't be. Or if there were obtrusive surface roads, particularly tarred roads. However, with or even without landscaping one would expect these changes to the landscape to green over within a few months or years. And there was no sign of a tarmac surface to any of the roads.
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