The creation of a Diamond Jubilee Wood which aimed to transform 61 acres of agricultural land at the top of Whitehead village into a native woodland.
The Woodland Trust was established in 1972 and has a Northern Ireland office based in Bangor, County Down. In celebration of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th anniversary diamond jubilee on the throne, the Woodland Trust planned to create 60 woodlands of 60acres around the UK and a number of smaller woodland schemes. The 60 new woodlands were all titled Diamond Jubilee Woods, and the only one confirmed in Northern Ireland was planned for the village of Whitehead, which is a rural village in Carrickfergus Borough.
The project included the promotion of the wood as a tourism attraction, by providing visitor facilities, such as seats, benches and bins and improving access and security of the site, including gates, fencing and signage. The project also enhanced the attractiveness of the site for visitors by creating a pond and by planting wild flowers throughout the site. A bespoke sculpture/artwork was created and featured on the site to mark the Diamond Jubilee celebration. As the only Diamond Jubilee Wood in Northern Ireland, this wood has the potential to attract visitors from across Northern Ireland and beyond.
This project also encouraged school children in the local area to engage with the project and to enhance their learning. A week of educational events was held in February 2012, involving 250 primary school children. Activities included tree measuring, roleplay/drama, natural treasure hunts, mini shelter building and a tree planting workshop.