Ecclesville Forest Park enhancement works to begin in New Year
6th December 2021
Enhancement works to leisure and recreational amenities at Ecclesville Forest Park, Fintona are to get underway in the New Year.
The enhancement works, being delivered by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, will include the planting of native broadleaved trees within the forest, the installation of new walking trails and an upgrade to the existing playpark.
The forest management works are due to start at Ecclesville Forest Park in January 2022 and are designed to improve biodiversity and overall visitor experience.
Non-native conifers adjacent to the Ecclesville Road will be removed in the New Year and replaced with a variety of over 7,000 primarily native broadleaved trees including oak, birch, rowan and willow.
The existing dense canopy of conifers offers limited structural and species diversity within the forest. The felling and replanting of these trees will allow increased light to reach the forest floor which will help to protect any remaining ancient woodland features and encourage them to develop and expand in the long term.
Further works to promote biodiversity and native species will include the removal of invasive laurel and rhododendron that causes damage to native flora. Specialist tree surgery to veteran trees will also be undertaken to improve their health and to ensure the safety of visitors to the forest.
All works will be undertaken in line with guidance from professional ecologists.
In addition, new walking trails will be installed within the forest park to improve overall access to the forest while a number of existing walking trails will be upgraded as part of the forest management plan. New visitor signage and interpretation panels, providing information on local history and biodiversity will also be installed throughout the forest park. An upgrade to the playpark is also scheduled to take place in 2022.
Speaking about the enhancement works to Ecclesville Forest Park, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, said:
“Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to ensuring the district and its people are the best they can be while protecting and enhancing the local environment.
These improvement works will ensure Ecclesville Forest Park is a sustainably managed, cherished space where everyone can enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature while supporting overall health and wellbeing. They also complement the Council’s commitment to climate action and increasing tree cover with native species to capture carbon, support biodiversity and improve soil quality.”
Enhancement works are due to start in January 2022. Ecclesville Forest Park will remain open through the duration of works however diversions and closures may be in place at various times while localised works are ongoing to ensure the safety of the public.