This majestic body of trees tower over the Ballylesson road, the silvery grey bark of the huge stems take on a haunted look in the mists of winter. In spring and summer they cast shade and are great to walk amongst.
But it is autumn as the leaves turn a crisp golden brown and an interesting array of fungi appears on the woodland floor that these beautiful trees are truly at their best. At this time of year a great place to view them is from Terrace Hill rose garden just across the valley.
A new beginning
The saving of these trees also marks the beginning of the National Trust story in the Lagan Valley. In 1945 a felling licence was applied for to remove the trees. The Trust moved in to purchase, however the price of £1400 was well beyond the means of the charity at the time.
A public appeal was also going ongoing to rescue Collin Glen from the same fate. After a failed appeal Mr Sergie Bennet, a well known philanthropist in the area stepped in and offered the money. His generous offer was enough to draw plenty of media attention to the cause, and although Mr Bennet sadly committed suicide before he made good on his offer, purchase was still made by the Ulster Land Fund grant.
The Beeches were recorded as National Trust property in 1947, however, it wasn’t until 1952 that the property was legally transferred.