Cookie Policy

We use cookies to make our website effective and useful for you. To continue, please accept the use of cookies.

I accept

How we use cookies





Oct 2017 right left


Scrub Clearance and Hedge Management

Sunday 1st October
Slievenacloy Nature Reserve


Outdoor Learning in the Early Years

Saturday 14th October
Tollymore Field Studies Centre
Resident: £135, Non Resident £99

Grass Roots AGM

Saturday 14th October
Newtownbreada Presbyterian Church Hall, Ormeau Road, Belfast

Cregagh Wood Walk and Hide Visit

Saturday 14th October
Cregagh Wood – Meet at St Patrick’s Church

Pond Improvement

Sunday 15th October
Rea’s Wood Antrim


Red Squirrel Talk

Tuesday 17th October
Cushendall Library


Ballycastle Forest Walk

Saturday 21st October
Ballycastle Forest Park

Life on the Lough

Saturday 21st October
Mount Stewart
Free – Donations Welcome

Brent Watch

Saturday 21st October
Strangford Lough – Greyabbey Carpark
No Charge, Donations Welcome

Ghost and Gourds Spook–tacular

Saturday 21st October
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Autumn Pumpkinfest

Saturday 21st October
Castle Ward
Normal Admission, Members Free

Squirrel Information

Sunday 22nd October
Laragh Lodge – Glenariff Forest Park


Half–Term Hallowe’en Fest

Thursday 26th October
The Argory, Moy
Normal Admission, Members Free


Mexican Day of the Dead

Saturday 28th October
Giant’s Causeway
Normal Admission, Members Free

Hallowe’en Fun

Saturday 28th October
Mount Stewart
Normal Admission, Members Free

Poison Chocolate Apple Dunking

Saturday 28th October
Rowallane Garden
Normal Admission, Members Free

Woodland Management

Sunday 29th October
Saintfield Estate, Saintfield Co Down

Glenarm Forest Walk

Sunday 29th October
Glenarm Forest Park

Hallowe’en Fest and Craft Fair

Sunday 29th October
Florence Court
Normal Admission, Members Free


‘Old Homer’ heads for Europe 6 February 2017

County Down oak represents Northern Ireland in European competition

A remarkable County Down oak, recently crowned Northern Ireland’s best–loved tree, is now competing for votes in the European Tree of the Year contest.

The holm oak, a mighty evergreen oak in Rostrevor’s Kilbroney Park, secured the title of Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year in a competition organised by the Woodland Trust; and was unveiled in a Channel 4 documentary Tree of the Year with Ardal O’Hanlon last December. 

It now faces stiff competition from 15 other trees from as far away as Bulgaria. Run by the Environmental Partnership Association1, the European verdict is simple – the tree with the most public votes at the end of February will win.

The 200–year–old oak, affectionately and locally known as ‘Old Homer’, was nominated by Alistair Livingstone on behalf of LIGHT 2000 community group.

Alistair said: “This tree has been well–loved by generations of locals and visitors who have gathered under its huge canopy for festivals and more. We’ve worked hard to put ‘Old Homer’ in the spotlight, and indeed we’re determined to encourage an appreciation of the many remarkable trees within this park. We really hope that members of the public will make their mark by way of a simple vote.”

Patrick Cregg, director of the Woodland Trust, added: “Centuries–old, this striking natural landmark reaches out to visitors at Kilbroney’s Fairy Glen entrance. And, while it distinctively leans at an angle, this oak is standing tall for all of Northern Ireland’s amazing, unsung trees. 

“We’re appealing to everyone – right across the country – to take a second to vote and give ‘Old Homer’ the backing he deserves.”

Today, Kilbroney Park is owned by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, and is freely open to all. It has, over the centuries, enjoyed its fair share of famous owners and visitors2. And, with breath–taking views overlooking Carlingford Lough, is said to have inspired CS Lewis’ magical land of Narnia. The Trust hopes that the Belfast–born writer “would have been proud” of his boyhood haunt’s recent achievement.

The Woodland Trust wants to see greater protection for our notable trees. More than 9,000 people throughout the UK have so far supported the charity’s V.I.Trees campaign, which calls for a register of Trees of National Special Interest.

To give the holm oak the European vote, head to Voting ends on 28 February.