News

Barge Arrival

August 18th saw the smooth arrival of Industry, an old barge or lighter, which used to transport coal in the 1870s on the Lagan canal from Belfast Harbour. It worked on the canal right up until at least the 1940s. Restoration began in 2008 in Rooskey before it's final journey back up to the Lagan in August 2014.

Tree Disease in Belvoir Park Forest

Phytpopthora-ramorum has been discovered within Belvoir Park Forest. Forest Service operations to save the veteran trees will take place in due course. Access to the forest will be affected. For more details please contact DARD or follow this link: http://www.dardni.gov.uk/index/plant-and-tree-health/horticulture-and-non-arable-plants-trees/pests-and-diseases/phytophthora-ramorum.htm

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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:

Bat Walk - FULLY BOOKED

Join LVRP staff on our popular dusk walk through Belvoir Park Forest and along the riverside. Discover the wonderful world f the bat as they emerge for their nightly foray. We will start with a slide show introducing the world of bats and then go out for a relaxed walk to see what we can find out and about!

The event is about 2 hours and although the walk is only about 1-2 miles we advise wearing appropriate footwear for more challenging terrain and dress for the weather!

Remember to bring a good torch!

Wednesday 20th August, 11am - 9pm at Lock Keeper's Cottage

** BOOKING ESSENTIAL **

Cost - Free!

Contact Park Office or visit our facebook page for more details - 02890 491922

Bus Along the Lagan

Get on board for a bus stop journey. Observe the diverse landscapes of LVRP while we guide you through the hidden history of the Lagan Canal, Belvoir Park Forest, the Neolithic Giant's Ring, Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park and more.

Bring a packed lunch and wear outdoor clothing and suitable footwear.

Not suitable for children under 10.

Saturday 30th August, meet at 10.30am at Lockview car park

** BOOKING ESSENTIAL **

Cost - £8

Contact Park Office for more details - 02890 491922

Go Wild in the Woods!

Join the LVRP Ranger Service for a fun packed bushcraft event and go wild in the woods! There will be family fun and games with a chance to learn some of the woodlands secrets.

There are 2 sessions on the day:
11am-1pm or 2pm-4pm

**BOOKING ESSENTIAL**

£5 per child

Not suitable for children under 6.

Saturday 20th September

** BOOKING ESSENTIAL **

Cost - £5 per child

Contact Park Office for more details and location - 02890 491922

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 o 2014: 11:00 - 15:00
Friday 15th August 2014: 13.00 - 15:00
Monday 18th August 2014: 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 19th August 2014: 12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 20th August 2014: 10:00 - 15:00
Thursday 21st August 2014: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday 22nd August 2014 11:00 - 15:00
Monday 25th August 2014: 10:00 - 15:00
Tuesday 26th August 2014: 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 27th August 2014: 11:00 - 15:00
Thursday 28th August 2014: 10:00 - 13:00
Friday 29th August 2014: 10:00 - 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

Volunteering

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 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.