-->Terryland Forest Park in Galway city is a unique natural resource within Ireland, a parkland of over 100,000 native Irish trees in the heart of a modern city that was initially developed and managed when it started in 2000 by an active partnership of Galway city council, neighbourhood communities, artists, state agencies and environmentalists in an ambitious endeavour to create a harmonious blend of outdoor leisure amenities for all ages and of wildlife sanctuaries that would form a vital ecological corridor (‘Green Highway’) linking into areas of prime biodiversity importance across the west of Ireland.
With climate change, deforestation, loss of wildlife habitats and the sedentary lifestyles becoming issues of growing concern to governments, scientists and ordinary people worldwide, the realisation of this urban forest park came at an opportune time.
Criss-crossed by traditional field boundaries of hedgerows and drystone walls, there also exists ancient rural pathways (or botharíns or boreens) on the periphery of the park that are presently being converted into vital arteries of a urban/rural Greenways network that has the possibility of connecting into walking and cycling routes across the counties of Mayo and Galway.
|Stephen Walsh, Supervisor of Galway City Parks
b) A Litter Clean-up (where large amounts of cans and bottles were collected)
|Clean-up of Castlegar Mass Path
|Clean-up of Carrowbrowne Bog Road
Renewal and resurfacing of an old bog road (botharín) in Carrowbrowne in preparation for a number of ‘Off the Beaten Track’ heritage cycle tours that went from Terryland Castle, to Castlegar Castle and onto Cloonacauneen Castle (c.10km round trip). The bog botharín was an key element in our campaign to establish a network of trails emanating from Terryland Forest Park that would link into county Galway and Mayo Greenways.
|Summer Sunday Cycle Through the Terryland Forest Park, Galway Bike Fest Week, 2012
A Sunday Cycle and Picnic in the Park event that took place along the full length of the Terryland Forest Park as part of Bike Fest Week 2012 (June). The trip comprised a series of stopovers: Castlegar Castle; Ballinfoile Mor Community Organic Garden (where cyclists had beverages and ice-creams); Cumann na bhFear premises (for a blacksmithy demonstration); Terryland Castle and finally the Oak Grove (in the original March 2000 Plantathon site) where we had a Big Picnic with marquee, barbeque, Latino dancers, singers, DJs, clowns. etc. Over 120 people participated.
|Online Heritage Trail Map
One of the biggest challenges facing the project is how to minimize the level of illegal drinking taking place within the park, a problem that is endemic to modern Irish society where such anti-social behaviour, oftentimes perpetuated by under-age drinkers, is impacting negatively on beaches, forests, graveyards and other public spaces nationwide.
|'Glan Suas Gaillimh' volunteers, Terryland Forest Park
|Area of Terryland Forest Park near Woodys
A serious issue that needs to be tackled is the amount of pallettes and other mainly flameabale materrials tbeing removed from the Woodys and other businesses in the Galway Retail Park into the forest park at weekends to be used as fuel for fires for drinkers.
|Area of Terryland Forest Park near Woodys
There is also a need to place colourful maps of the forest park oen some of thse signs.
|Blackrock, County Louth
|Giant Children's Mural Ballinfoile Mór Community Organic Garden, Terryland Forest Park
|Lol Hardiman's drawing of the proposed Terryland Forestry Interpretative Centre & Arts Amphitheatre, 2000
The willow sculptures created earlier this year by artist Jen Hesnan and the GAF youth group are presently on display in St. Bridget’s Garden (see photo above). But similar type works would find a natural home in the Terryland Forest Park.
|Blackrock Park, County Louth
- Can the Can Clean Up clean up (Winter)
- Tree Planting (Spring)
- The Big Picnic (Summer)
- Wild Fruit Harvesting or Heritage Cycle Trip or (Autumn)
|Terryland Castle locality, Dyke Road
Of particular significance would be the reconstruction of the drystone wall near the entrance to Terryland Castle which was dismantled a few years ago during road widening works.It was never rebuilt and was sadly replaced by unsightly concrete blocks. But thankfully, the original stone pieces are left lying nearby.
The cutting of the grasses could be done by volunteers using traditional farming methods and implements.
The Heritage Plan designates its use ultimately as an interpretative centre dedicated to the Corrib waterways. The Terryland Forest Park and Castle would fall within this remit.
Unfortunately the buildings have suffered a lot of damage recently due to vandalism and theft.
It is felt by the Heritage Officer that some remedial works under his supervision could be undertaken by Cumann na bhFear and the Conservation Volunteers at both the castle and the Waterworks.
|Cafe in converted farmyard building,: Slieve Gullion Forest Park, Co. Armagh
15. Terryland Castle
17. Outdoor Fitness Equipment
|Slieve Gullion Forest Park, County Armagh
Discussions should take place with farmers and Teagasc about best practice possible for using only organic fertilsers in the farm lands within the park’s boundaries.