Glas-na-Bradan Wood Access Plan and Visitor Experience Review

glas na braden wood

Client: Woodland Trust

The Challenge

Create an access plan and prescription documents for the Woodland Trust in their continued development of the Glas-na-Bradan Wood. In addition, to review the current visitor experience in the estate and identify future opportunities for development.

The Role

Glas-na-Bradan Wood was purchased by the Woodland Trust in 2021 with Biffa Award funding. The site is located on the upper slopes of Colinward Hill off the Hightown Road in Newtownabbey, Co Antrim. Approximately 98ha in size, 50 ha have been identified as suitable for woodland creation.

The name “Glas-na-Bradan” was voted for by the public, it means “salmon of the stream”. The Woodland Trust Northern Ireland have committed to the whole site being community planted which will take place over a 5-year plan. The first season of planting (2021/2022) saw over 47,000 trees (15.5ha) planted by volunteers.

Outscape will carry out trail design and improvement works throughout the site, to improve and increase the visitor offering at Glas-na-Bradan Wood, including:

  • An access plan with prescription documents for the creation of a network of sustainable walking trails extending from a newly designed car park at the main entrance.
  • Included in the access plan will be the development of and improvements to visitor services’ infrastructure (fencing, waymarking, interpretation etc) to create a high-quality visitor experience.
  • A review of the visitor experience provision at

Glas-na-Bradan Wood through assessing the provision of outdoor experiences in the Belfast Hills, identifying the unique selling point (USP) that Glas-na-Bradan has to offer and understanding the stakeholder analysis. Outscape will envision the future development to enhance the visitor experience at the site making it “must see” destination in Northern Ireland, acting as a hub and driving force for bringing wildlife and people together.

Staff Lead: Philip Weston