Know before you go
Parking informationCar park on site
A network of formal paths - 2.5 miles in total.
Wheelchair and pushchair friendly.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay 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.
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, redwing and waxwing, 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.