Size:

5.22 ha (12.90 acres)

Grid reference:

C500109

Map reference:

Explorer NULL

OS Landranger 7

Oaks Wood is one of a cluster of woods nestled in the picturesque Faughan Valley, a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This relatively new woodland adds to the valley’s diverse mosaic of habitats which support a wealth of wildlife, including red squirrel, otter and many bird species.

Enjoy the views and look out for the acorn and oak leaf sculpted chairs at the peak of the hill, which were created to commemorate the new millennium.

Features

  • Public access
  • Autumn colour
  • Spring flowers
  • Broadleaved woodland

How to get to Oaks Wood

The 10.5-hectare (26-acre) site is located in the Faughan Valley, between the villages of Drumahoe and Killaloo on the A6, 8km (5 miles) south-east of Derry/Londonderry.

From Derry/Londonderry, head south along the A6 for 9.6km (6 miles). From Belfast, pass through Dungiven on the A6 and continue for about 19km (12 miles). There is parking in a lay-by 0.4km from the site.

The nearest train station is Derry/Londonderry.

Visit Translink for more information.

There is a regular bus service along the A6 from Derry/Londonderry to Dungiven.

Visit Translink for more information.

Facilities and access

There is a pedestrian entrance from the A6. Due to its valley location, the area around the entrance (and the exit) is steep. However, this soon evens out so walking in the wood involves a fairly gentle stroll.

An extensive path network runs alongside the Faughan River. This leads into a grass path going up the hill to form a circular route. An additional path crosses the site diagonally. Paths include a series of seats which views over the river.

There is parking in a lay-by 0.4km from the woodland.

The nearest toilet is at the nearby Ness Country Park with a small visitor centre. The toilet block has wheelchair-accessible pathways.

Wildlife and habitats

Animals

Oaks Wood is teeming with wildlife. Look out for red squirrels in the wood and traces of the pine martens which sometimes visit. The river not only attracts birdlife, it is also home to Atlantic salmon and trout, and several priority species – twaite shad, European smelt, sea lamprey, and river/brook lamprey - which have been reported in the estuaries.

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Trees, plants and fungi

Oaks Wood was planted in 2000 with 7,000 trees to create the new native woodland. As the wood has matured, aspen has self-seeded alongside the river and the woods are flourishing.

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Habitats

The native woodland at Oaks Wood is acting as an extension and buffer, linking the existing local woodlands of upland oak, a priority habitat in the Northern Ireland Biodiversity Action Plan.

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History of Oaks Woods

We purchased Oaks Wood in 2000. It is one of the 50 Woods on Your Doorstep sites in Northern Ireland, created to mark the new millennium. The development was aided by the Millennium Commission, Homebase and the Rural Area Partnership.

Oaks Wood was planted with a mix of native broadleaves by the local community. At the same time, small items from local people and Homebase staff were buried in a time capsule within the wood, to be dug up and opened in 2025. In 2008, the site was designated a Local Nature Reserve.

Things to do in Oaks Wood

Walking

Enjoy the views and network of paths in Oaks Wood. If you feel like a longer walk, you can also explore the mature woodlands of the nearby Ness Wood Country Park.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on the other Trust-owned woods in the area: Killaloo Wood contains fragments of ancient oak woodland and a carpet of bluebells in spring, and the young Burntollet Wood’s vibrant wildflower meadow is a must-see in summer.

With its diverse woodlands, tranquil riverside walks, plentiful wildlife and stunning views, the Faughan Valley is the perfect place for a day out.

Oaks Wood - Management plan

Download

Oaks Wood Management Plan

PDF  (138 KB)