Funders and local people inspect the site improvements at Monkstown Wood.  They are pictured holding up an 'Easter Trail' banner.

Monkstown Wood to show off new look with Easter event

Families are invited to put a spring in their step at the Woodland Trust’s Monkstown Wood, in the historic village of Monkstown, Newtownabbey. Saturday 24 March, from 12pm to 4pm, is the date for the outdoor diary.


The Woodland Trust team will point you in the right direction. Then search for the hidden clues to complete a self-guided trail through this flourishing Local Nature Reserve. Young nature detectives, having completed the woodland adventure, will each be rewarded with a tasty Easter treat.

This urban woodland can’t wait to show off its new look, made possible thanks to funding of £65,000 – that’s almost £45,000 from Biffa Award and £20,000 from Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council.

The facelift includes improved access, new and improved paths, way-markers, benches and interpretation boards.

The new pathways beckon walkers to step closer to nature. One route provides access to an adjacent council-owned wildflower meadow, while another offers a closer look at the neighbouring river, the glorious Three Mile Water.

Michelle McCaughtry is the Woodland Trust’s people engagement officer and said: “This will be a fantastic day out for families in the run-up to Easter. It’s a chance for children to get outdoors and to get to grips with nature, and a breath of fresh air for the adults, too.

“We’ve come up with a really fun and informative woodland trail. And with a chocolate prize at the end of the adventure, I imagine there’ll be lots of happy faces.

“Thanks to funding, we’ve been able to give Monkstown Wood the boost it deserves and it’s now ready and waiting to be explored by everyone, local people and visitors from further afield.”

Gillian French, Biffa Award Head of Grants, added: “We are thrilled to see the difference the funding has made and how the wood has been made more accessible. Bringing people closer to nature is vital and we hope that the regeneration of this area will make a big difference to the community using it.”

Children from the nearby Hollybank Primary School were among the first to inspect the improvements, while making their own contribution. The youngsters recently rolled up sleeves to plant over 150 trees – a mix of alder, hazel and birch.

Booking in advance is essential. Find out more and book a slot at or call 0330 333 5302. The cost is £3 per child. Monkstown Wood can be accessed via Monkstown Road, just off the Doagh Road, Newtownabbey.


Last updated 1 year 4 months ago