Woodland Gem To Be Upgraded

Published: Thur, 28 Sep 2017
Monkstown Wood in Newtownabbey will soon undergo a £65,000 upgrade
Monkstown Wood in Newtownabbey, given over to the Woodland Trust by the Housing Executive nearly 20 years ago, has received a £65,000 funding boost.
The urban woodland will begin upgrading works this autumn including improved access, new and improved pathways, quaint stone walls, way-markers, benches and interpretation boards.
The funding injection is made up of £20,000 from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council and almost £45,000 from Biffa Award - a multi-million-pound UK wide fund that helps to build communities and transform lives through community and environmental projects.
Monkstown Wood is described by The Independent as “a small gem wedged between industrial buildings and a river”. However, originally it was made up of seven large fields which were gifted, in 1999, to the Woodland Trust by the Housing Executive in a 999 year lease.
Following the handover, the conservation charity planted thousands of native trees - a flourishing and towering mix of oak, rowan, alder and wild cherry. More recently Monkstown Wood was declared a Local Nature Reserve in recognition of its importance to people and wildlife.
Sharon Crooks, our local Area Manager, welcomed the funding boost saying:
“This wood is a wonderful natural environment for the local community to enjoy. Since the land was given over to the Woodland Trust it has been transformed. We’re delighted the wood will be further enhanced for the benefit of local people.”
Rosie Irwin from the Woodland Trust said:
“This wood is already well used by local people and groups, from dog walkers to anglers. But, with the forthcoming improvements, we want to put Monkstown firmly on the map. We want it to become a favourite with everyone – nature lovers and visitors from further afield.”
Monkstown Wood can be accessed via Monkstown Road, just off the Doagh Road, Newtownabbey. It will officially show off its new look next spring.
To find out more search for Monkstown Wood online at woodlandtrust.org.uk