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Wildflowers thriving at Giant's Causeway in absence of visitors during coronavirus lockdown

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Sea pinks have appeared in unprecedented numbers on the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway

Sea pinks have appeared in unprecedented numbers on the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway

Sea pinks have appeared in unprecedented numbers on the basalt steps of the Giant’s Causeway

An unprecedented display of wildflowers has sprouted from below the stepping stones of the Giant's Causeway in the absence of visitors treading the famous ground due to Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The crisis has brought many changes upon Northern Ireland in recent months, but perhaps none as beautiful as the appearance of sea pinks, a hardy coastal plant, at the carved formations on the National Trust site in Co Antrim.

While it is not unusual to see coastal wildflowers grow in the area, the lack of visitor footfall means the natural wildlife of the Unesco World Heritage site has managed to thrive in numbers rarely seen before.

It comes as images displaying nature's comeback emerge across the world as modern life slows down in response to the outbreak.

A spokesperson for the National Trust said the appearance of the pink plants across the Giant's Causeway, which remains closed to visitors, is a sign of nature's beauty prevailing during unsettling times.

"Seeing nature thrive is always a positive thing and as a conservation charity we exist to protect and care for places so people and nature can thrive," the spokesperson said. "The pandemic has created an unprecedented situation where we are seeing what places look like when nature is largely left alone. It has been fascinating to see these changes on a global scale and to consider how this may impact future thinking.

"It is always a balancing act, to support the needs of nature and those of people. We believe passionately that everyone needs nature and it is so important that people have access to beautiful places."

The National Trust posted images of the wildflowers on social media last week, prompting many members of the public to share their own memories of spotting the plants before, albeit in smaller numbers.

Belfast Telegraph