Know before you go
Parking informationPark on roadside, near the old quarry - do not obstruct the gates.
No formal paths - medium terrain with steep inclines. Trail: 1.2 miles.
Open to the public.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMay to September
About the reserve
This secluded hazel woodland, perched above the village of Glenarm, is interspersed with several species-rich grassland clearings.
During spring, the ground is awash with wildflowers such as bluebells and lesser celandine, along with a host of interesting plants such as parasitic toothwort, wood vetch and stone bramble. Other rarities include the parasitic bird’s-nest orchid and yellow bird’s nest (Dutchman’s pipe).
Breeding birds to listen out for in summer include blackcap, willow warbler and chiff-chaff, while buzzard, sparrowhawk, long-tailed tit and bullfinch can be seen or heard at any time of year.
In the sunny glades, you may spot the delicate cryptic wood white butterfly or the spectacular silver-washed fritillary, as well as more common species like meadow brown and ringlet.
For a relatively small site, Straidkilly boasts a surprising number of mammals including red squirrel, Irish hare, badger, Irish stoat, pine marten and pygmy shrew.
The picnic area, with its panoramic views across the Irish Sea to Scotland, is also a great spot to watch for cetaceans, such as harbour porpoise.
We cut the grassy woodland glades each year at Straidkilly to maintain the rich array of plant life for butterflies, bees, and birds. We also control non-native species, such as the notorious Himalayan honeysuckle and sycamore.