Sixmilewater Park

Six Mile Water Park

The Sixmilewater is actually 30km long rising close to Ballyboley Forest and flowing to Lough Neagh.  There any many different stories about how the Sixmilewater got its name.  One such story is that many years ago, the Roman soldiers, defending their land, walked from their strong hold of Carrickfergus Castle and after six miles of walking they came to this river – which became know as the Sixmilewater.

The Sixmilewater Park is a substantial park within the town of Ballyclare.  The Sixmilewater runs through the park with managed grassland on one bank and natural woodland on the other.  The range of habitats including river corridor, woodland, wetland, ponds and open grassland make this an interesting park with the opportunity to see a range of wildlife.  The heron in particular is quite a sight, seen silently stalking prey along the river bank.

Also watch out for species such as kingfisher, grey wagtail and dipper.  If you are very lucky, and quiet, you might even see the illusive otter!  Dollaghan (local brown trout) run the Sixmilewater so watch out for them jumping for food!  In the summer, you can see local swift population screaming overhead!A walking path will lead you through the variety of habitats of this park.  A biodiversity trail has been created for this park which encourages the visitor to think about the importance of each habitat and the associated species.

A free booklet for the trail can be obtained from Lindsay Matthews, biodiversity officer (Tel: 028 90340069) or download from http://www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/biodiversity/trails.asp.

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