Forest news and events

Find out about forest closures and other news about public forests in Northern Ireland.

COVID-19 update

Toilet facilities will be open from approximately 10.00 am to 5.00 pm daily at the following locations:

Forest parks

  • Castlewellan Forest Park
  • Drum Manor Forest Park
  • Glenariff Forest Park
  • Parkanaur Forest
  • Tollymore Forest Park

Toilets remain closed at:

  • Portglenone Forest - note the toilet at Portglenone Forest will remain closed as it is awaiting upgrade works

Country parks

  • Castle Archdale Country Park
  • Crawfordsburn Country Park and Helens Bay (visitor centre 10.00 am to 4.00 pm)
  • Ness Country Park
  • Peatlands Park
  • Quoile Countryside Centre
  • Roe Valley Country Park
  • Scrabo Country Park

Toilets remain closed at:

  • Duross bay toilets at Castle Archdale Country Park 

The Woodlands Café in Crawfordsburn Country Park will be offering take away only from Saturday 17 October. 

The Ritter Tea Rooms in Roe Valley Country Park will close for four weeks after Friday 16 October.

At times car parks may be closed temporarily to support social distancing if sites become too busy or crowded. 

Make sure you follow Public Health Agency guidelines and maintain social distancing at all times. Plan your visits in line with ongoing restrictions. 

Cairn Wood

The car park at Cairn Wood is closed due to construction works to improve the recreation facilities at the forest in partnership with Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Camping and touring online booking

All Forest Service operated campsites and caravan parks including ‘Touring in the Trees’ sites are currently closed in line with COVID-19 regulations. Forest Service will be in contact with customers in relation to refunds for cancelled bookings.

    Binevenagh Forest thinning programme - 12 October 2020

    Forest Service is starting an extensive thinning programme in Binevenagh Forest. The work will involve the felling and removal of selected trees to improve crop quality and maintain forest cover. It will also result in better timber quality and will improve biodiversity by reducing the density of trees in the forest. 

    Harvesting operations are expected to start on the week beginning 12 October 2020.  Diversions will be applied to the Ulster Way during the thinning programme and restrictions will be in place for the duration of the work. Forest Service asks that all users of the forest follow the signage.

    Paper bank notes

    All £5.00 and £10.00 paper notes were taken out of circulation on the 30 September 2019 because they were each replaced with polymer notes. For this reason, Forest Service is unable to accept paper notes after this date. 

    Note that banks in Northern Ireland will still accept all Northern Ireland paper notes from their own customers, which can either be deposited into their account or exchanged for polymer notes.  

    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.

    You can get details of concessions for charities and community groups, caravanning and camping at this link:

    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 send details through a free online account.

    Over 100 forests to explore

    Northern Ireland has over 100 public forests you can visit.  They’re great places for walking, exercising dogs, running, orienteering. In some you can organise events, go camping, caravanning, picnicking or horse riding. Find out more:

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