Hazelbank Park

Hazelbank Park is an excellent park in Newtownabbey as it is situated on the shores of Belfast Lough and offers fantastic views to Belfast, Carrickfergus and County Down.

Within the park you will find mature woodland – remnants of the old estate awash with colour from early spring with bluebells, woodland anemone and the pungent smell of wild garlic.  A created wildflower meadow at Hazelbank Park also adds a splash of colour to the area every summer.  This splash of colour is quite a sight for people as they pass by however it also has great importance for biodiversity.

Wildflowers have declined in the wider countryside due to intensification of farming and development.  The loss of these wildflowers has serious consequences.  Aside from impoverishing the look of the countryside, such a major change has obvious implications for the bees, butterflies and other kinds of wildlife that depend on our native wild plants.

Bumblebees in particular are under serious threat due to disappearance of these important flowers.  The role of the bumblebee in our countryside is often overlooked, but they are vital pollinators.  Without them many rare plants might disappear and the yields of soft fruits, fruit trees and beans would fall.  Bumblebees need specific flower-rich habitats that provide pollen and nectar.

Hazelbank Park is an ideal place to join the National Cycle Way on which you can walk or cycle, safely into Belfast, passing several important wildlife sites en-route!  The cycle route passes along the waterside of Belfast Lough right up to the Lagan Towpath.

Gideon’s Green, an ideal stop off point along the cycle path, offers some great bird watching opportunities over the Whitehouse Lagoon.  Some of the more notable species are Great Crested Grebes, Redshanks, Oystercatchers, Dunlins, Curlews and Black-tailed Godwits which feed on the mudflats and roost on favoured parts of the shoreline during high tide.