Parks and green spaces
There are many green open spaces in Northern Ireland, ranging from small local parks to the vast landscapes of the Mournes. Have a picnic, fly a kite or go hiking in the hills. There's a host of activities for you to enjoy.
Good quality parks enhance the quality of life in towns and cities. Parks provide a focal point for communities, a place for relaxation or recreation, and the opportunity to experience nature in an urban environment. Most parks are managed by local councils. For more information about parks in ypur area, visit your local council's website.
Country parks are designed to promote access to the countryside, encouraging a greater understanding and knowledge of the environment.
Green Flag Award
The Green Flag Award recognises high standards in the management and maintenance of public parks and green spaces. Getting involved is voluntary. Awards are made annually. The number of green spaces winning a Green Flag Award increases every year. This helps improve the quality of parks. Find out about Green Flag Award winners in Northern Ireland.
There are over one hundred state forests in Northern Ireland. You can find out more including details of any recreational activities that are available in our forests, by visiting our forests section.
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
There are several Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Northern Ireland. Each AONB is a distinct and spectacular landscape, such as the Lecale Coast, the Mournes or the Ring of Gullion.
You can search for an AONB near you. Find out what you can see and do there by visiting the AONB website.
Greens and commons
There are many areas of land in cities, towns and villages that are used by local residents for sport, recreation and enjoyment. Find out more from your local council.
The National Trust also owns a lot of common land that is open to the public.
Nature and wildlife
As you make your way through one of Northern Ireland's parks or open spaces, keep your eyes open for amazing wildlife. The Ulster Wildlife Trust runs campaigns and events for you to learn more about your local wildlife, including summer schemes for children. To find out more, visit the Ulster Wildlife Tust website.
There are also nature reserves owned by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). These are ideal for bird watchers and nature lovers. Some provide a wide range of facilities suitable for family days out, while others have only minimal services. To find out more about RSPB Nature Reserves, visit the RSPB website.