Belfast Telegraph

Vehicle ban at Games of Thrones Dark Hedges site comes into force

An order banning cars and buses from the Dark Hedges in Antrim - made famous for its appearance in HBO drama Game of Thrones - comes into effect on Monday.

While traffic will be banned from the Bregagh Road near Armoy, exceptions will be given for local access, emergency vehicles, delivery vehicles, and some agricultural vehicles.

A short sequence at the start of Game of Thrones' second series used the tunnel of trees to represent the King's Road that Arya Stark travels along.

Concerns were raised earlier this year that an influx of traffic to the area was damaging the beech trees that overhang the road.

According to an order from the Department of Infrastructure, anyone caught breaching the ban could face a fine of as much as £1,000.

Enforcing the ban will the role of the PSNI.

In August Ballymena-based photographer Bob McCallion - whose Farm Life photograph of the Dark Hedges won a place in the BBC Countryfile's 2011 calendar - called for the road to be closed to protect the trees.

"Some of the verges on Bregagh Road have lost a foot in some places since then due to erosion, with resulting damage to the beech roots," he said.

During the Easter holidays this year there was shock after pictures were posted on social media showing busy traffic on the road, and cars eroding the verges close to the trees.

The avenue of trees was originally planted by the Stuart family in the eighteenth century. It was originally intended as a landscape feature to impress their guests as they approached their Georgian mansion, Gracehill House.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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