Skip to content

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.

Parks and public playing fields

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 and public playing fields are managed by local councils. For more information about parks in ypur area, visit your council's website.

Country Parks

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 public forests in Northern Ireland. For information about public forests and any recreational activities available, go to:

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.

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.

More useful links