Bog Meadows

An award-winning urban nature reserve, in the heart of Belfast, for people and wildlife.

Location

Milltown Row
Belfast
Antrim
BT12 6EU

OS Map Reference

J 312 726
A static map of Bog Meadows

Know before you go

Size
19 hectares

Entry fee

No

Parking information

Car park on site

Grazing animals

Yes

Walking trails

A network of formal paths - 2.5 miles in total. 
Easy terrain.

Access

Wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Dogs

On a lead

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

May to September

About the reserve

Situated in West Belfast, beside the M1 motorway, this green oasis - a mosaic of species-rich meadows, reedbeds, ponds and hedgerows - is a huge asset for local people and wildlife, and provides great opportunities to enjoy nature in the city.

Fourteen species of butterfly have been recorded here. In summer, look out for species such as orange-tip, speckled wood, meadow brown and small tortoiseshell fluttering over the wildflower meadows.

Stand at the edge of the reedbed to be astounded by the scratchy symphony of sedge and reed warbler song. Other summer visitors include sand martin, swallow and swift which can be seen swooping low over the pond as they hoover up insects.

Crane your neck skywards to watch for peregrine falcon and buzzard hunting overhead. You might even spot a kingfisher whizzing across the M1 from the Blackstaff River to collect sticklebacks.

Mute swan, mallard, tufted duck, coot moorhen and little grebe can be seen at the pond all year round.

In autumn, the berry-laden hedgerows and trees host feeding flocks of fieldfare and redwing, all the way from Scandinavia. An influx of starlings before dusk is another spectacular sight.

Hardy breeds of cattle, such as Blue Greys, graze the site - essential for the management of the nature reserve.

Alongside a team of dedicated volunteers, we work on site to improve access, manage non-native species and control invasive scrub.

Did you know?

  • Bog Meadows is a surviving remnant of the floodplain of the River Blackstaff, formed by melting glaciers during the last Ice Age.
  • In 1987, the Friends of Bog Meadows decided to preserve this remaining area of wetland. In 1989, they teamed up with Ulster Wildlife to purchase the land and manage it for conservation, recreation and education. 
  • Bog Meadows was the last recorded breeding site in the Belfast area for the corncrake, an extremely rare bird in Northern Ireland.

Contact us

Ulster Wildlife
Contact number: 028 9045 4094

Environmental designation

Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Well-being walk at Bog Meadows Nature Reserve

Bog Meadows 'Our people, Our Places'

Live beside Bog Meadows? Get involved in our new community engagement project offering volunteering opportunities, youth engagement activities, traineeships and events.