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Size:

15.02 ha (37.11 acres)

Grid reference:

C504102

Map reference:

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OS Landranger NULL

Our First World War Centenary Wood for Ireland, Brackfield Wood is part of a patchwork of newly planted, mature and ancient woodland nestled in the stunning Faughan Valley. An Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), the valley is rich in a variety of flora and rare and unusual wildlife, including the iconic red squirrel and elusive otter.

Features

  • Parking nearby
  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Grassland
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Brackfield Wood

Brackfield Wood is on the A6 (Glenshane Road), around 13km (8 miles) south-east of Derry/Londonderry, and 3km (2 miles) from the village of Claudy. The wood lies between two other Woodland Trust woods: Oaks Wood (planted in 2000) and Killaloo Wood, with its fragments of ancient woodland.

Travelling along the A6 from Belfast to Derry/Londonderry, pass through Dungiven and proceed for about 19km (12 miles).

On the right-hand side of the Glenshane Road you will see Cumber Church and the ruins of a castle. Shortly after this, on the left-hand side there is a lay-by signed ‘Brackfield Picnic Area’.

There is also a car park close to the Trust’s Burntollet Wood. Follow the signs for Ervey Wood car park.

The ongoing A6 road upgrade may affect access to the wood - please contact the local office before making your journey.

The nearest train station is in Derry/Londonderry, 13km (8 miles) from the wood.

Visit Translink for more information.

There is a limited bus service from Derry/Londonderry to Killaloo and Claudy, travelling along the A6. The closest bus stop to the wood is on Glenshane Road.

Visit Translink for more information.

Facilities and access

The site has two vehicle and pedestrian entrances: one from Ardmore Road and one from the Brackfield picnic lay-by. 

There is 1km (0.6 miles) of stone and grass paths that wind through the wood from the lay-by entrance. They have views across the valley and river, and have seating.

There is parking available at Burntollet Wood, another Woodland Trust site nearby. Follow the signs for Ervey Wood car park.

The nearest toilets are at Ness Country Park which is managed by the Forest Service. It is one of a cluster of sites near Brackfield Woods.

There is a small visitor centre with a toilet block and a wheelchair accessible pathway. Please check opening times before your visit.

 

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

There is plenty of interesting wildlife to be found at Brackfield Wood. The Faughan Valley is home to animals like the red squirrel, kingfisher and otter.

Look out for signs of the otters, like fishbone-filled droppings and the muddy tracks they leave from sliding down the banks. 

Unique species include the brook lamprey, a secretive eel-like fish that swims in the river nearby.

It's also the perfect spot for bird watching with buzzards, sand martins, snipes and grey wagtails around. 

If you're really lucky, you might hear the shrill mating call of the rare pine marten during its mating season.

Look out for:

Trees, plants and fungi

With an impressive array of ground flora and a range of trees, there's plenty of plant life to spot at Brackfield Wood.

Wild flowers like bluebell, foxglove, wood anemone and poppy are dotted throughout the wood. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of the veteran oak and sycamore trees too, as well as some unusual lichens!

Look out for:

Habitats

Brackfield Wood is a mix of habitats, from mature woodland to new planting. All are rich in flora and fauna.

Explore:

About Brackfield Wood

Acquisition

The Woodland Trust purchased the main part of this wood in 2013 with funding from the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and public donations. We then bought a small addition to the site called Donkey Field in 2016.

Tree planting

Almost 28,000 trees were planted by local schools, volunteers and contractors. In 2015, a grant from the Loughs Agency helped us create a new riverside path network, linking the site to neighbouring woods.

Sombre tree planting event, Brackfield Wood

Credit: Michael Cooper / WTML

First World War Centenary Wood

Brackfield Wood was chosen as Northern Ireland's First World War Centenary Wood, one of four new woodlands across the UK planted to commemorate the centenary of the conflict.

Find out more about the Centenary Woods Project.

Cadets standing to attention among poppies at Heartwood Forest

Support us

Your support matters

We were able to plant trees here thanks to your response to an important appeal. Discover how you helped us create another incredible place for people and wildlife, and what the future holds for this new wood. 

See what we've achieved

Things to do at Brackfield Wood

Walking

Make a day of your visit to Brackfield Wood and visit neighbouring sites Killaloo Wood and Oaks Wood. Killaloo is particularly special in the spring with carpets of bluebells and primroses.

Fishing

The Faughan River is a prime fishing destination and brimming with Atlantic Salmon. If you have a valid fishing license or permit, why not grab your rod to fish in this serene setting?

Find out more about fishing in the Faughan River at Loughs Agency.

Early purple orchids

A lasting legacy

This wood is just one of many to have been protected by gifts in wills, securing it for generations to come. Your legacy gift could also make a real difference to woods, trees and wildlife.

Learn what your gift could mean
Brackfield Wood - Management plan

Download

Brackfield Wood Management Plan

PDF  (160 KB)