Lagan Valley Regional Park

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From the headwaters of Slieve Croob in the peaks of Dromara, beyond the Mountains of Mourne, the River Lagan grows in its vastness and arrangement of tributaries as it sweeps and meanders down to the Lagan Navigation and out to the Irish Sea. The patchwork of valley landscapes from wet meadows, ponds and ditches to mixed beech woodland, parkland and pine plantation provides a network for wildlife and a passage to our past.

Step out onto the towpath and immerse yourself with the sounds of the ebb and flow of the river. An alarm call from a shy moorhen as it quietly stalks the riverbank reeds and twists of overhanging willow. The male and female mallard duck and crested grebe weave silently or land like water-skiers along the surface. The many willows, looming beeches and hawthorn hedgerows provide their own music as they creek in the wind during the winter months, laden heavy with lichens.

Breathe in the pine scents of Belvoir Forest, the musky aroma of ancient oaks and fields of Meadowsweet at Lagan Meadows in the spring. Gasp at the hugeness of Ballyskeagh High Bridge and uncover the long history at Shaw’s Bridge. Discover carpets of bluebells in Minnowburn, whisper stories of faeries and folklore or let smells of the turf fire at Lock Keeper’s Cottage transport you back to another time.

Enjoy a picnic by the river or warm up with a hot drink at one of the few cafes. Pick a trail and explore the rose garden at Terrace Hill with superb views across the valley of the Belfast Hills, finishing the day as the sun casts a long shadow over the ancient stones of the Giant’s Ring. 

Lagan Valley Regional Park is:

A Park that offers a thriving, diverse and valued riverside heritage that welcomes exploration, learning and enjoyment whilst ensuring a sustainable environment for all.

One of our Key focus areas is Biodiversity:

And under this we strive to safeguard and deliver a high quality biodiversity resource for the region.

The Park is a valuable biodiversity resource. Large areas of the Park are designated and protected for their nature conservation value. We want to continue to enhance and manage the Park for its special biodiversity value, we want the Park to be a place where plants and animals can thrive, a place where people can experience and enjoy the natural environment.

Come and see it:

There’s so much to see out and about in the Regional Park, if you are lucky, you may get a glimpse of the kingfisher flashing to the water, it is doing particularly well at the moment and is a joy to see. The riverside habitat forms an essential wildlife corridor that abounds with wildlife from small mammals to insects and butterfly’s, from ancient trees to beautiful lichens. Volunteers help to monitor the animals and plants in the area and currently we are surveying for butterflies, bumblebees, wildfowl, bats and squirrels. The range of wetland, woodland, grasslands provides a range of habitats for our biodiversity to thrive and we will ensure that this continues and is enhanced.

For more information on events go to www.laganvalley.co.uk , events calendar or contact Lagan Valley Regional Park on

T: 028 9049 1922