Flora Montgomery

Dublin-trained actress Flora Montgomery, 32, is passionately against nuclear power. She cycles, recycles and switches-off as a matter of course – and is at her most lyrical when thinking about her home in Northern Ireland.

 Anyone who lives on Strangford Lough spends an awful lot of time on the beach or sailing, and the view of the land is just as beautiful as the sea.

People forget that. When you are on the sea and look back at the land you see these wonderful rolling drumlins, this incredible seascape, there’s a real
wildness there and these lovely gorseclad hills and these wonderful top hats of trees and these bald headed hills.

What do you think about the developments on Strangford Lough?

Building has got so out of control now, it’s a patchwork of bungalows. We live on one of the most beautiful places in the British Isles, probably in the world. And that’s going to go. I cry about this.

My mother campaigns tirelessly but there are buildings going up every day. Ten years ago you’d walk down our village and there wouldn’t be one person you wouldn’t know by name, and they’d shop in the local shop. And it’s so important to keep it that way.

Perhaps it is beginning to happen again. Even in our village, in the past three years the butcher’s has re-opened.

Her views on the future

It’s all very well to talk about the doom and gloom but there are enough people who are young and proactive who do things with the community.

I think it’s really important that this is happening. It’s about the wildlife, but it’s also about the people and the community. If people who are moving to the area get to know the village, then people can teach them about the preciousness of the lough. I really would give my last dying breath to stop the bad planning around Strangford Lough.

In Northern Ireland, Friends of the Earth has scored many remarkable victories.