Strange creatures lurk within this park. The whimsical, plush critters sit in plain sight, giving the place a magical feel sure to delight anyone’s inner child.
The Diamond Jubilee Wood in Whitehead, Northern Ireland, was created to commemorate the 2012 Diamond Jubilee marking Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year as monarch. The site was chosen because of its connection to World War I, as from 1915 to 1917 it was used as the first military aviation facility in Northern Ireland.
There were 60,000 trees planted, and the wood was officially opened in June of 2012. But now something other than trees has sprouted up within the young woodland. The community has transformed the historic plot of land into Northern Ireland’s first “Woollen Woods” and filled it with their work.
Woollen Woods is a British public art project that invites people to create woodland creatures made of wool and display them in quirky outdoor art installations. Keen knitters and crafty artists create wonderful woolen characters and tapestries, which they leave sprinkled within the woodland, waiting to be found. Wander around this Woollen Wood, and you’ll spot fairies, magical snails, woolen wildlife like red squirrels and owls, and even a woolen hungry caterpillar.
With all the hard work from local knitting and craft groups and also small businesses, this little woodland has become a special place that should be cherished by old and young alike. The local council and community groups also run many events in this park which bring it to life with small arts and crafts activities and wildlife conservation days.
Know Before You Go
The best way to get here is to park at the Bentra Restaurant Car Park in Whitehead and then follow the path around the back to the woodland's entrance. The best way to travel is either getting a train to Whitehead and then walking across Whitehead Village to the Bentra Restaurant or by car. The woodland is open 24 hours a day. It is recommended that you dress for the weather and check out Mid and East Antrim Website for any events happening at the park