Carnagh Forest

Client: Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The Challenge

Improve the outdoor recreation offer with Carnagh Forest including walking trails and play

The Role

In July 2016, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council commissioned Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland to carry out a snapshot site assessment of Carnagh Forest with the aim of making recommendations as to how the Forest could be improved in the future to allow it to become a valuable community recreation resource.

More specifically, the study involved:

1. Reviewing on-site all existing services, facilities, signage and outdoor activities taking place in the Forest and mapping these using GIS.

2. Detailing using GIS all key natural and historic attractions/points of interest including designated and non-designated sites in the Forest

3. Completing a SWOT analysis at a macro level of the Forest

4. Undertaking consultation with the following named stakeholders; Council Officers, local Councillors and Forest Service NI

5. Making recommendations on how the Forest could be improved at minimal cost to provide an improved outdoor resource for the local population.

The scoping study has lead to Council (under a licence agreement with Forest Service Northern Ireland) with the support of ORNI:

  • Installing a new car park for 20 cars
  • Upgrading 3 walk trails to include  basic remedial work, new waymarking and signage, opening up viewing areas along the trails accompanied by seating and promoting the walks through a trailhead information panel. Trails include – Carnagh Lake Trail (0.9 miles),  Jointy’s Trail (0.6 miles) and the Boundary Trail (1.9 miles).
  • Improving play offering
  • These works have significantly increased the experience of those currently using the Forest as a community resource with 10,703  visitors recorded since April 2019.


This project was an output of a Service Level Agreement with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.