The Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland is celebrating a major milestone this year, as 98% of its woodlands come of age.

As the UK’s largest woodland conservation charity, the Woodland Trust has established 50 woodland sites across all of Northern Ireland. The Woods on your Doorstep project began in 2000 with a simple aim to develop woodlands for local people in mainly urban areas.

The project bred new life into towns with the planting of woodlands stretching from the Faughan Valley in the North West to Corrog Wood on the Ards Peninsula.

Our key sites in Northern Ireland include:

  • Carnmoney Hill and Monkstown Wood in Newtownabbey
  • Drumnaph Woodland in Maghera
  • Cabin Wood in Cookstown
  • Oaks Wood in Derry/Londonderry
  • Kilcooley Wood in Bangor
  • Corrog Wood in Portaferry
  • Canal Wood in Poyntzpass
  • Glasswater Wood in Crossgar
  • Friends of Belvoir Wood and Throne Wood in Belfast.

We want to mark this 20th anniversary by taking a look back over the life of these woods and we would love to hear your stories. We are really keen to find out how woodland plays an important role for your community.

We especially want to hear from you if you planted a tree, if you have fond memories of playing there, or what your area might have looked like if the woodland was never there. Maybe you have spotted wildlife, or even if you have just enjoyed watching these woods grow over the past 20 years, we would love you to get in touch.

Woodland Trust director of Northern Ireland, Ian McCurley said:

“We are delighted to celebrate 20 years of Woods On Your Doorstep, especially as 98% of our estate in Northern Ireland comprises urban woods near local communities. Who better to have as your neighbour than the tree next door? Trees are brilliant - they help clean air, store carbon, clean our rivers and provide havens for wildlife. We would love to hear from you if you remember the woodland in its infancy or remember the area before trees were planted.”

To get in touch with Woodland Trust Northern Ireland about your story, please email WTNI@woodlandtrust.org.uk or phone 028 9127 5787.

Notes to editors

For media enquiries contact Glynis Watt at the Woodland Trust’s Northern Ireland Office on 028 9127 5787 or glyniswatt@woodlandtrust.org.uk, or the Woodland Trust press office on 01476 581121 or media@woodlandtrust.org.uk.

The Woodland Trust is the largest woodland conservation charity in the UK. It has over 500,000 supporters. It wants to see a UK rich in native woods and trees for people and wildlife.

The Trust has three key aims:

  1. protect ancient woodland which is rare, unique and irreplaceable,
  2. restoration of damaged ancient woodland, bringing precious pieces of our natural history back to life,
  3. plant native trees and woods with the aim of creating resilient landscapes for people and wildlife.

Established in 1972, the Woodland Trust now has over 1,200 sites in its care covering approximately 29,000 hectares. Access to its woods is free so everyone can benefit from woods and trees.

In Northern Ireland, the Woodland Trust cares for 50 woods.  These woods contain a mix of recently planted woodland, mature woodland and ancient woodland.  The Trust has produced the first-ever comprehensive record of Northern Ireland’s ancient woodland; find out more at Northern Ireland Ancient Woodland Inventory.