Nugent's Wood gets a Magical Makeover

One of the beautifully intricate tree carvings
Published : 13 Nov 2020

Nugent's Wood has reopened following a raft of improvements made possible by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme.

The National Trust acquired Nugent’s Wood in 1983. The wood covers 13 hectares and was originally planted as a shelter belt to the adjoining Portaferry House Demesne. The 1.5-mile path through the woodland features views across Strangford Lough to the Castle Ward Estate.

An extensive program of works including improvements to the walking trail and repairs to the existing stone wall have been completed, while additional drainage works as well as new seating, sculptures and entrance signage have been installed.

(L-R) Andrew Upton (National Trust, Countryside Manager), Aaron Devlin (F.P. McCann), Hannah Lambe (AECOM Project Manager), Councillor Trevor Cummings (Mayor of Ards and North Down) and Joanne Brown (PEACE IV Officer)
Andrew Upton National Trust, Countryside Manager, Aaron Devlin F.P. McCann, Hannah Lambe AECOM Project Manager), Councillor Trevor Cummings Mayor of Ards and North Down and Joanne Brown PEACE IV Officer
(L-R) Andrew Upton (National Trust, Countryside Manager), Aaron Devlin (F.P. McCann), Hannah Lambe (AECOM Project Manager), Councillor Trevor Cummings (Mayor of Ards and North Down) and Joanne Brown (PEACE IV Officer)

The project was supported by the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Match-funding was provided by the Executive Office in Northern Ireland and the Department of Rural and Community Development in Ireland. It marks the successful completion of one of the four Ards and North Down Borough Council’s PEACE IV ‘Shared Spaces and Services’ projects. Work was carried out by contractor F.P. McCann and design consultants, AECOM.

C.S Lewis inspired sculpture in Nugent's Wood
C.S Lewis inspired sculpture in Nugent's Wood
C.S Lewis inspired sculpture in Nugent's Wood

Our National Trust Countryside Manager for Strangford Lough and Ards Peninsula, Andrew Upton commented “Nugent’s Wood is a wonderful mixed woodland on the shores of Strangford Lough. This open space provides visitors with access to woods and countryside, allowing people to reconnect with nature, something which is vital for health and wellbeing, especially during the current Covid-19 crisis. We’re delighted to see the completion of this funded project and we look forward to protecting and caring for Nugent’s Wood so people and nature can thrive, long into the future.”

Pull on your wellies, get exploring and see how many of the woodland and magical creature carvings you can find.