Bangor's Kilcooley Wood was a hub of activity on Saturday when hundreds of local people and visitors turned out for a day of woodland fun.
The celebration was one of a series of events organised by the Woodland Trust to celebrate the “Woods on your Doorstep” project, which saw the creation of 250 community woods across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The event was carried off with a helping hand from Kilcooley Community Forum, which has worked in close partnership with the Woodland Trust for over ten years.
Mark Gordon of the forum praised the event.
He said: “I certainly felt the event was a great success. and great publicity for the Woodland Trust.
“We have worked with the Woodland Trust for over ten years and witnessed the woodland grow.
“Children from the primary school planted the trees for the wood ten years ago and some of them returned to see how they have grown.”
Kilcooley Wood was the first community wood to be created through the project and approximately 10,000 native trees were planted.
The day was brimming with a number of fun-filled activities, including nature trails, story telling and hands on crafts. A pony and trap was also in attendance to entertain children and adults alike,with MP Lady Sylvia Hermon even taking her turn
Patrick Clegg, director of the Woodland Trust in Northern Ireland, praised the enthusiasm of the local people.
“Most heartening is the enthusiasm of local people, including schoolchildren, who have rolled their sleeves up at numerous planting events over the years. We’re delighted to see hundreds of local people and visitors joining in the celebrations and giving the landscape transformation their seal of approval.”
Mark Gordon echoed the sentiment: “The whole issue of the woodland is extremely important to Kilcooley Community Forum. We really enjoyed our involvement with this event and hope to be involved in many more in the future.
“Although it is a Woodland Trust wood, over the years it has become Kilcooley Wood. We very much feel a sense of ownership and pride over the area.” he said.
The Woodland Trust hopes that others will be inspired to bring the beauty of woodland to their doorstep and its new campaign ‘More Trees, More Good’ introduces a whole range of tree-planting offers. Schools, youth groups, community groups, farmers and other landowners can find out how to get planting at www.MoreTreesMoreGood.org.uk