Forest news and events

This page has information about tree diseases, forest closures and other news about public forests.

Latest news

Gortin Glen Forest Park

The scenic drive at Gortin Glen Forest Park has been temporarily closed to all public vehicle traffic to protect visitors during timber harvesting and to allow for essential repairs to the tarmac surface. 

Resurfacing works and drainage improvements are planned from 5 February 2018 with work due to last for several weeks, depending on weather conditions. 

Access to the scenic drive will stay open for pedestrians but visitors must pay attention to all safety signs and diversion signs.

Annesley Garden at Castlewellan Forest Park

Visitors should be aware that some very large pieces of timber are on site due to tree maintenance following Storm Ophelia. These cannot be removed without causing major damage to other trees or plants.  Please pay attention to all health and safety signs displayed in the gardens.

Hillsborough Forest

Due to improvement works at Hillsborough Lake dams, the upper car park at Hillsborough Forest will be closed to the public from Monday 6 November.  Work will start on the West Dam in the week commencing 13 November and on Church Dam in the New Year.  The total work programme is about 16 weeks.

The majority of walking trails in this forest will stay open but those sections of path on each dam will be closed while work takes place and path diversions will be in place.

The existing earth dams are in good condition but they are being upgraded to make sure they continue to safely meet modern design standards.  Your cooperation during these works will be appreciated.

Forests and country parks 

Forests and country parks have re-opened to the public following storm Ophelia.

Inspections are ongoing and first assessments suggest no major levels of damage. Members of the public are advised to follow any safety notices  placed where some paths may be closed for further remedial works.

Muff Glen Forest - closed to the public

Following recent heavy rainfall in the North West area on Tuesday 22 August, there has been significant flooding and water damage to paths, roads and bridges in Muff Glen Forest. 

As a result the forest has been closed to all public access for visitor safety.  A full assessment of the damage will not be possible until water levels have returned to normal and it will then take some time before the damage can be made good.

The cooperation of the public in observing all safety signs will be greatly appreciated.

Castlewellan Forest Park - horse riding trails

Further information can be found on the Castlewellan Forest Park page. Horse riding trails managed by Forest Service are also available in Tollymore Forest Park.


There are currently no planned events.

Forest recreation charges

On event days, some charges apply to particular forests. There are also charges for the use of additional facilities in some forests - these apply to vehicles, people and to some activities and organised events. The link below has details of concessions for charities and community groups, caravanning and camping.

Report wildlife sightings online

In Northern Ireland, the Centre for Environmental Data and Recording (CEDaR) collates wildlife records for both native and non-native species.

You can record your sightings on its website either as a single record event or you can register with them and submit details through a free online account.

Share this page


Would you like to leave feedback about this page? Send us your feedback