Glasswater Wood given a major expansion

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Work on a yearlong makeover and expansion of Glasswater Wood has been completed by the Woodland Trust. Woodland Trust Staff were on site this afternoon to reveal the new trail and related works that have been carried out on the wood over the last year.

Glasswater Wood on Glasswater Road, Crossgar, celebrated 20 years since 2,000 trees were planted on land purchased from James & Mildred Scott. As the wood has come of age, it has seen a rise in popularity and a desire from the local community to have the walking trail extended.

As a result, extra land adjacent to the original three fields was bought from the neighbouring farm. The new land was purchased by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) and the works and access of the project have been funded by Nationwide Building Society, which is a corporate partner of the Woodland Trust.

The recently purchased land contains a small pocket of the Great Wood of the Dufferin that ran from Downpatrick to Bangor. Some of the trees now along the trail are well over 200 years old. The local farmer has been commended for maintaining this small piece of ancient woodland for walkers to enjoy today.

The new pram-friendly trail passes through several old stone walls and alongside wet areas that have been kept in order to retain the biodiversity of the area. Paths around the perimeter of two fields that are still used for farming have been constructed with a double-gated cattle passage.

The Woodland Trust has also purchased the field across from the wood’s main entrance and there are plans to extend the woodland to here with a small wet area depending on funding. This will be designed to be accessible to the elderly residents in Glasswater Care Home.

Part of this field has been made into a temporary car park to facilitate the recent increase in visitors that had been parking on the road. Be cautious, as there have been recent car break-ins.

A volunteer group is currently being set up to look after the wood. Should anyone wish to get involved, please contact The Woodland Trust. Coppicing (tree cutting) is often required to manage the woodland. A lady has kindly been doing this for ten years. The Woodland Trust would also like to hear from the owner of the fairy houses on the trees. Regular bin collections under the remit of the council is currently being sought.

Glasswater Wood is one of fifty woodlands in Northern Ireland belonging to the Woodland Trust. With the recent 3.5 hectares added to the existing 5.8 hectares, Glasswater Wood now covers almost 10 hectares (24 acres) of land for the local public and community groups to enjoy.

Included in the picture are Michelle McCaughtry (Engagement Officer) (left), Glynis Watt (Communications Officer) (right), and out of shot is Lynsey Nixon (Comms & Engagement Manager).

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