More about Burntollet Wood

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Burntollet Wood in springtime

In summer, the woodland floor is a visual treat. (Photo: WTML)

From this young woodland you can enjoy stunning views over the beautiful Faughan Valley with its mosaic of newly planted and ancient woodland, and rolling pasture. On a clear day, you can even see as far as the majestic Sperrin Mountains. The site also boasts one of the country’s largest wildflower meadows – a riot of colour during the summer months.

A variety of wildlife inhabits the wider area and will make its home in the new wood as it matures. Mammals include red squirrel, otter, pygmy shrew, fox and badger.

Burntollet Wood already has a resident kestrel, and buzzards and a merlin have been spotted hunting. Other birds include dipper, swallow, jay, sand martin, willow warbler and grey wagtail. A significant proportion of the site has been left as rush pasture, providing a habitat for snipe, which have declined in the area in recent years.

The purple hairstreak, one of the rarest butterflies in Northern Ireland and confined to oak woodland, has been sighted at the nearby Ness and Killaloo Woods and it’s hoped that it will be attracted to Burntollet. Other butterflies include the orange tip, peacock, speckled wood, small white and green-veined white. The drinker moth has also been spotted.

The Faughan River and its tributaries are renowned for their stocks of Atlantic salmon.

Download the Burntollet leaflet (PDF, 1.6MB) for more details, including a map.


The 24ha (59-acre) Burntollet Wood lies next to Ness County Country Park in the Faughan Valley. It is around 11km (seven miles) south east of Derry/Londonderry and almost five kilometres (three miles) north west of the village of Claudy.

OS Landranger 7, grid reference: C505108 

Access and walks 

Welcome to Burntollet Wood. (Photo: WTML/Press Eye Photography)

There are several entrance points into Burntollet Wood via kissing gates, including four along the Ervey Road. The main entrance is from the car park. There are information panels at each entrance, with the one at the main entrance including seasonal information and things to look out for. 

The site has over 1.7km (one mile) of pathways, including a waymarked circular path with information boards. There are a series of stone bridges and plenty of natural oak benches along the route. It is also dotted with mosaic tiles created by local school children, with the help of local artist Grainne Kielty. Each mosaic depicts a woodland creature, such as a barn owl, a kestrel and a hedgehog.

The wood is linked to Ness Country Park (owned by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency), giving access to 8.7km (5.4 miles) of woodland and riverside walks. To extend your visit further, you can also explore the nearby Oaks Wood, the newly planted Brackfield Wood, and the older Killaloo Wood, all owned by the Trust.

Parts of Burntollet are steep and the paths have been constructed along the gradients of the slopes. Although this won't allow access for all, in particular wheelchair and pushchair users, it does offer gently sloping paths that can be managed by most people.


By car
From Derry/Londonderry, head south along the A6 for about eight kilometres (five miles), then turn left into Birch Road and follow the signs to Ervey Wood/Ness Country Park car park.

From Belfast, pass through Dungiven and drive for about 19 km (12 miles). On your right hand side of the Glenshane Road, you will see Ness Nurseries. Just after, take a right into Birch Road and then follow signs to Ervey Wood/Ness Country Park car park.

By bus
There is a regular bus service along the A6 between Derry/Londonderry and Dungiven. Visit Translink for details of times. 

By train
The nearest station is in Derry/Londonderry. For up-to-date information on public transport, visit Translink (028 9066 6630).

Nearest amenities

Public conveniences
Ness Country Park managed by the Forest Service has a small visitor centre with a toilet block and a wheelchair-accessible pathway.

There a number of shops and places to eat in Claudy.

Accommodation and tourist information
Derry has a range of accommodation. For places to stay and other things to do in the area, see The Faughan Valley, Visit Derry and tripadvisor.

There is also a tourist information centre at 44 Foyle St, Derry, County Londonderry, BT48 6AT (028 7126 7284).

Entry into our woods is free but please donate now to help us care for them.

Things to see and do

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