Lagan Valley Regional Park launches 10 year Strategic Vision

Our Strategic Vision (3.6MB) provides a focus for the Regional Park and its activities well into the future.

Lagan Valley Regional Park Facebook Page

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The Park and AONB welcomes the views and opinions of our users. If you wish to have your say, you can download our questionnaire and return the completed form by post or email.



Welcome to Lagan Valley Regional Park and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

From the headwaters of Slieve Croob in the peaks of Dromara, beyond the Mountains of Mourne, the River Lagan grows in its vastness and arrangement of tributaries as it sweeps and meanders down to the Lagan Navigation and out to the Irish Sea. The patchwork of valley landscapes from wet meadows, ponds and ditches to mixed beech woodland, parkland and pine plantation provides a network for wildlife and a passage to our past.

Begin your journey from the many access points to the River Lagan and the towpath by foot, bicycle and car at Stranmillis, Loughview Road, Shaw’s Bridge and many more; click here for map. Alternatively you can take the No. 8b bus from Belfast City Centre to Stranmillis College or start from the Lisburn end and take the No. 38a bus to Sprucefield Shopping Centre and the Blaris Road to Union Locks.

Step out onto the towpath and immerse yourself with the sounds of the ebb and flow of the river. An alarm call from a shy moorhen as it quietly stalks the riverbank reeds and twists of overhanging willow. The male and female mallard duck and crested grebe weave silently or land like water-skiers along the surface. The many willows, looming beeches and hawthorn hedgerows provide their own music as they creek in the wind during the winter months, laden heavy with lichens.

Breathe in the pine scents of Belvoir Forest, the musky aroma of ancient oaks and fields of Meadowsweet at Lagan Meadows in the spring. Gasp at the hugeness of Ballyskeagh High Bridge and uncover the long history at Shaw’s Bridge. Discover carpets of bluebells in Minnowburn, whisper stories of faeries and folklore or let smells of the turf fire at Lock Keeper’s Cottage transport you back to another time.

Enjoy a picnic by the river or warm up with a hot drink at one of the few cafes. Pick a trail and explore the rose garden at Terrace Hill with superb views across the valley of the Belfast Hills, finishing the day as the sun casts a long shadow over the ancient stones of the Giant’s Ring.

Our next event is:

Foraging Glorious Garlic!!

Come along for a morning of foraging in and around the Park with Forage Ireland. Explore the edible delights of the woodland; learn about traditional food gathering and how to make and take home your own delicious Wild Garlic Pesto.

Saturday 26th April - Starting at 10am. Cost £10 per head

**Pre-booking & pre-payment essential**

Contact Park Office to book and for details of start - 02890 491922


Friends Group

Join Lagan Valley Regional Park's 'Friends of' Group - for details click on tab on left.

See whats happening on our facebook page






Lock Keeper's cottage

Through the Laganscape Project the Lock Keeper's Cottage has been fully restored. Lock Keeper's CottageThis week, thanks to our volunteers, the cottage will be open
Thursday 17th April 2014: 10:00 -13:00
Friday 18th April 2014: CLOSED
Monday 21st April 2014: CLOSED
Tuesday 22nd April 2014: CLOSED
Wednesday 23rd April 2014: 11:00 - 13:00
Thursday 24th April 2014: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday 25th April 2014: 13:00 - 15:00
Saturday 26th April 2014: 11:00 -16:00
Monday 28th April 2014: 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 29th April 2014: 11:00 - 14:00
Wednesday 30th April 2014: 11:00 - 15:00
Times may be subject to change.

Lock No.3

Lock number threeWorks have been completed on Lock No.3. This project has been delivered as part of the Laganscape Project with our partner Department of Culture Arts and Leisure. Work commenced in June 2009 and has involved replacement of stone work on both sides of the canal chamber, removal of the watermain pipe and re-introduction of Lock gates. 

Along with the restoration of the Lock Keeper’s Cottage, this site is the only authentic example of lock, cottage and original bridge anywhere in the Lagan Valley.

Wildlife recording card

Calling all wildlife spotters

We have identified a number of key species that we would like to monitor and we’re hoping that you can help us by taking note where and when you see them as you walk through the park. The information we receive will help us to gain a better understanding of our local wildlife and will help us to direct management of the Regional Park to maximise its value for biodiversity. To download our wildlife monitoring leaflet click here or on the image (1.48MB).

Wildlife recording card


Laganscape volunteers in a willow weave bird-hideLagan Valley Regional Park has an exciting range of volunteer opportunities through the Laganscape Project for 2010. If you are interested in volunteering you can get involved in:

  • Saturday Conservation Ranger Team
  • Wildlife monitoring
  • Red squirrel surveys
  • Heritage Guiding
  • Wildlife & Heritage photography

For more information on all of these opportunities check out volunteering section, or to speak to our Volunteer Coordinator call us on 028 90 491922.