Mourne Park Access Plan and Visitor Experience Review

Mourne Park View

Client: Woodland Trust

The Challenge

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

The Role

Mourne Park estate is located 3km northwest of Kilkeel in County Down, situated between the southern end of the Mourne Mountains and the County Down coastline.

In 2020, Woodland Trust took ownership of 156ha of the estate with the aim of restoring the ancient woodland within. The extent of the ownership incudes: car parking, open parkland and ancient and long-established woodland which extends from the existing driving range down to the Whitewater River.

Outscape will carry out spatial planning and trail design works to allow the trust to identify requirements  to improve and increase the visitor offering at Mourne Park, including:

  • An access plan with prescription documents for the creation of a network of sustainable walking trails extending from the main car park, across the face of and to the summit of Knockcree Hill, using a variety of trail types. In addition, a trail network through the arable land to the east of the main woodland block, with all trails on the site connecting and complimenting each other.
  • Included in the access plan will be the development of and improvements to visitor services’ infrastructure, namely but not limited to, existing bridges, fencing, waymarking and interpretation.
  • A review of the visitor experience provision at Mourne Park, integrated with the access plan, a review of the surrounding provision of outdoor experiences in the Mournes, identifying the unique selling point (USP) that Mourne Park has to offer and stakeholder mapping. Outscape will envision the future development to enhance the visitor experience at Mourne Park 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