Kiltonga Nature Reserve

Kiltonga Nature Reserve, situated on the Belfast Road on the outskirts of Newtownards, is a popular site for walkers, families and birdwatchers. The site is owned and managed by Ards and North Down Borough Council. The wetland areas and birdlife are jointly managed by the Council and the locally based Strangford Lough Wildfowlers Association. In July 2000, the site was granted BT Millennium Miles status by the FieldFare Trust acknowledging the good access and quality of the site for use by people with disabilities.
Originally an area of marshland, the ponds were created in the late 19th century by a local linen factory owner. The purpose was to aid the washing and bleaching of the process further upstream. After the decline in the linen industry, the site was allowed to return to nature until the late 1960’s when the Strangford Lough Wildfowlers erected nesting boxes to attract water birds to the area. The site was then transformed by Ards Borough Council to its present use thereafter. 
Swans, Mallards, Little Grebe, Moorhens and Coots are often present on the lake and if you are very fortunate and you might spot an Otter. The reserve contains several types of habitats, including an area of wet woodland, and is home to a Heronry. Other bird species you may spot are Goldcrests, Little Tits, Tree Creepers and Werns.
In 2014 the Reserve was awarded Green Flag Status. The Green Flag Award® Scheme recognises and rewards the best green spaces in the country.

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