Cottage Lawn Belcoo
Cottage Lawn, in the centre of Belcoo Village, is an open green amenity space with exceptionally mature trees, paths and stunning views of the Hanging Rock and Cuilcagh Mountain. The area is bounded on one side by Lough MacNean Lower and is a rich biodiversity habitat that provides an opportunity to engage with and appreciate our natural landscape. The area is also used regularly for walking, running and other leisure activities and its popularity as a place to go is continuing to increase.
Belcoo is a small village with a large heritage, where the past and present rest easily alongside each other. Belcoo and “Béal Átha Conga”, meaning the ‘mouth of the narrow’, takes its name from its location on the narrow section of the river connecting Upper and Lower Lough MacNean.
During 1848, Hamilton James was one of the group responsible for bringing the railway and station to the area, which was the creation of Belcoo as a town at the time. He also built the first stone house in Belcoo, known as ‘The Cottage’, which was eventually used for housing the railway workers.
The Cottage Lawn is in the centre of the village and it is an important area used by the community and visitors alike. Since 1947, on 15 August, every year the community continues to organise a Sports Day at Cottage Lawn to bring people together.
The nearby spring well at Hollywell is known as St Patrick’s Tub from the Gaelic word ‘Tober’, meaning well. Many believed it was blessed by St Patrick during his travels. Others believed it sprung up in answer to the prayers by local Saint, St Sinnell (6th Century). Today it is renowned for curing ailments.
Cottage Lawn is a haven for a wide range of wildlife and an abundance of plant species because of its unique habitats, from its parkland area, large mature trees, its mature hedgerows and large native meadow to its beautiful shoreline. These are all vital habitats to plants and animals such as a number of bat species including the common Pipistrelle, Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s Bat.
Plant species such as bluebells, primrose, Hawthorn oak trees, bramble, woodland violets and anemone, foxgloves and mature ivy are all present and are vital plants for our native pollinators, birds and small mammals.
Lough MacNean is a large freshwater lake divided into two parts. Lower Lough MacNean is the smaller eastern lake and it can be viewed from Cottage Lawn. The Lough is home to a significant otter population which indicates clean water with plenty of food to feed on. The area is also important for migratory birds such as Whooper Swans, Greenland White Fronted Geese and Golden Plover.
Car parking, interpretation panels, toilets, picnic area, outdoor gym and walking trail.
A4 Sligo Road, Belcoo, Co Fermanagh, BT93 5EZ
Distance: 0.80km / 0.5miles
Time: 10 minutes
Terrain: Public footpath and flat terrain
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
Dogs: Dogs must be kept on a lead and waste disposed of
The trail around Cottage Lawn is a circular, flat trail that leads you on a 10 minute, 0.8km / 0.5mile walk around the village green. It is the perfect trail if you are looking for a quick walk to stretch your legs or for a slow meander taking in the beautiful views that surround you. With plenty of seating and picnic tables along the trail, this is the perfect spot to stop for a bite to eat and remember to use the bins provided to Leave No Trace.
Dark Skies are those which possess an exceptional quality of starry nights and a nocturnal environment that is protected in some way. Various levels of accreditation are possible for areas which meet certain specific criteria. Exploring the feasibility and potential for Dark Skies accreditation for an area/areas within the District is a consideration.