Causeway Chronicle

Back to nature, a re-wilding habitat created during lockdown 2020

The FA Cup final was on today, as the city of Manchester descended on Wembly to see Manchester Unite beat Manchester City 2-1 to lift the famous trophy.

As Chelsea were not involved, I had no real interest and took myself off to Brockagh Wood near Benvardan where local man Shaun Boyd has created a magnificent 15 acre wildlife site and gardens during lockdown which is now open to the public.

Shaun describs the 15 acre wildlife site as his “Garden of Eden” which he created in 2020 during lockdown and will be open for visits today and tomorrow, May25 and 26. All proceeds going to charity.
As someone who likes a good walk, I decided to go along and I certainly was not disappointed.
As part of the National Garden Scheme, visiting an open garden like Brockagh Wood, you’re not only going to enjoy a great day out – you’re also raising money to help those in need. During 2023, garden openings meant the National Garden Scheme could give over £3.4 million to their beneficiary charities.
Visiting Brockagh Wood, I benefited from a community of thousands of other like minded garden owners, all passionate about great gardens and raising money for great causes.
During the walk around Brockgah Wood, festooned with native grees like oak, ash, birch and elder, there is a secluded area where the light shines through to allow a healthy bed of ferns to flourish and many small waterways lead to a magnificent two acre pond, including native wildflower meadows, marginal plants, water lilies, moorhens, mallard ducks and little grebes.
The one mile undulating walk around the perimeter of Brockagh Wood was a clam and relaxed way to engage with nature, much of the wood is natural and in untouched condition. Mother Nature is a key to a happy and healthy life and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
Wheelchair access is available to the main pond but not the walk around Brockagh Wood. Refreshments are also available for enjoyment near the edge of the pond. More importantly, there is always the opportunity to meet other visitors, those who come for the excercise and scenery; those who are interested in the plants on show and a sprinkling of ornithologhists hoping to catch a glimpse of a rare bird or two.
To get to Brockagh wood from Ballymoney, take the road to Portrush, at Ballybogey turn right onto the Benvarden Road. Brockagh wood is located 1½ mile on the left at 47 Benvardin Road, Ballybogy, Ballymoney, BT53 6NN
The garden opened officially today at 1.00 p.m. and opens again on Sunday from 1.00 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Visits by arrangement during June to Sept.

Admission £5, children free. – Picnics welcome!

For further information, contact Mr Shaun Boyd, 079 73 68 2319
or by e-mail: shaunboyd2020@gmail.com or visit ngs.org.uk.
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Maurice Bradley