Forest news and events
Find out about forest closures and other news about public forests and country parks in Northern Ireland.
Slieve Gullion Forest Park harvesting
Larch trees in Slieve Gullion are infected by the tree disease 'Phytophthora ramorum'.
The forest drive will be closed Monday to Friday from 8 November 2021 until the end of January 2022 for the felling of trees and removal of the timber.
Castlewellan Forest Park
The terrace within the Walled Garden at Castlewellan Arboretum is not accessible due to ongoing improvement works. The works are due to be finished in November 2021. Forest Service asks all visitors to follow the safety signage on site.
Ballypatrick Forest tree felling
Tree felling will take place next to the car park at Ballypatrick Forest from mid-August to October 2021.
The car park and waymarked trail (Corratavey Glen trail) will be closed during the work. A temporary car park will be available 800 metres on the left towards Ballycastle.
The Touring in the Trees caravan site will stay open during the work on site. Forest Service asks all users to follow the safety signage on site.
COVID-19 - camping and touring online booking
COVID-19 - In line with regulations, shared facilities on Forest Service camping and caravan sites reopened on 24 May 2021. Camping and caravan bookings can be made via the Forest Service online booking system.
Somerset Forest thinning programme
Forest Service have started an extensive thinning programme in Somerset Forest. The work involves 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 started on the week beginning 26 April 2021. Diversions will be in place during the thinning programme with restrictions during the work. Forest Service asks that all users of the forest follow the signage.
Toilet facilities will be open from around 10.00 am to 5.00 pm daily at the following parks:
- Castlewellan Forest Park
- Drum Manor Forest Park
- Glenariff Forest Park
- Parkanaur Forest
- Portglenone Forest
- Tollymore Forest Park
- 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
The Woodland’s Café at Crawfordsburn Country Park is open every day from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
The Ritter Tea Rooms in Roe Valley Country Park is open every day from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm.
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 try to keep a social distance from others. Plan your visits in line with ongoing restrictions.
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: