Carrickfergus wood gets magical makeover

Published Sunday, 16 March 2014
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A wood in Carrickfergus has received a makeover, adding a little mischievous magic for visitors to find.

Carrickfergus wood gets magical makeover
The púca sculptures by Alan Cargo and Eleanor Wheeler. (© Woodland Trust)

Oakfield Glen was a countryman's residence built in the early 1800s and although the house no longer exists, the picturesque grounds remain.

As part of the revamp, an old ice house has been restored to its former glory and magnificent specimen trees uncovered.

Aside from rediscovering the woodland's longterm occupants, new inhabitants - the púca - have taken up residence at Oakfield Glen. The faery like creatures are hiding in the treetops through the wood and are waiting to be discovered.

Púca, which is Irish for spirit, comes from ancient folklore. They are considered to bring people good or bad fortune and can change their appearance into that of an animal, usually black horses, goats or rabbits.

Ten in total, the púca are actually steel sculptures, created by sculptors Alan Cargo and Eleanor Wheeler, with help from Acorn Integrated Primary and Oakfield Primary School.

Michelle McCaughtry, the Woodland Trust's people engagement officer, said: "We are delighted to have the chance to show-off the recent additions to Oakfield Glen.

"It's the most beautiful old woodland, with a charming burn and Victorian stone bridge."

The project, which was unveiled on Saturday, was made possible by grant-aid of £17,000 received by the Woodland Trust from the NGO Challenge Fund 2014.

The Woodland Trust cares for over 1,000 woods in the UK, including 49 woods in Northern Ireland.

The woods contain a mix of recently planted woodland, mature woodland and ancient woodland.

The Woodland Trust has produced the first-ever comprehensive record of Northern Ireland's ancient woodland which can be accessed at www.backonthemap.org.uk

© UTV News
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3 Comments
Kaye Coates in Bangor wrote (277 days ago):
Hi Debbie, there are actually a few different entrances to the wood. We have a new information leaflet for Oakfield Glen, which includes a map (with the entrances marked on it). You can either download this from www.woodlandtrust.org.uk (and then search for 'Oakfield Glen') or if you'd like to call our Bangor Office on 028 9127 5787 we could post a copy to you. Thanks so much for your interest! Best wishes, the Woodland Trust.
Debbie in Belfast wrote (279 days ago):
Is there a car park? I went yesterday but the entrance that Bing directed me to was through a small estate with parking by the side of the road.
Pauline in Carrickfergus wrote (281 days ago):
I didnt even realise this walk was there until reading this story and I live about 2 miles from it. We went this afternoon and it was a really lovely. My kids loved it. Delighted to have this in my door step and it will be a regular walk for us now
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