The long term physical development of Creggan Country Park involves large scale green space provision including landscaping works, provision of access paths and the promotion of conservation and biodiversity. These have combined to provide a platform for new outdoor recreation and sporting facilities which support the creation of new training and employment opportunities thereby contributing to the ongoing regeneration of the area.
'Step Back in Time' Natural Heritage pamphlets
We have just launched our new collection of pamphlets on biodiversity, birds, mammals and wildflowers at Creggan Country Park, you can download them for free by clicking here.***
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>Environmental Aims and Objectives
To date the project promoters have developed some 40% of the lands of Creggan Country Park to promote safe access and outdoor water based recreation (fishing and watersports), the remaining 60% of the land will be developed for the promotion of conservation and the enhancement of biodiversity with a series of path networks, reedbed systems and wild flower meadows.
The environmental aims and objectives of Creggan Country Park are to promote economic and environmental sustainability by using renewable energy.
- Utilise the environment as a motor for development to promote regeneration as a means to promote inclusion.
- Contribute to improving social cohesion and urban regeneration by improving safe, managed access to green spaces within the urban landscape.
- Provide the social benefits of rural life, in terms of a pleasing environment and a high quality of life, within the urban context.
- Make urban living desirable with quality green space and recreation.
- Develop a community-based programme of various renewable energy initiatives and waste management schemes.
Potential Objectives Include:
- Inclusion of framework of the greenways of Derry City Council (cycle paths, footpaths linking neighbourhoods to the city centre and to the riverside)
- Improved green spaces for social, recreation and sporting use
- Improved facilities for water based activity (boating, angling etc.)
- Improving the attractiveness of the area as a means to improve the quality of life and attract investors.
Creggan Country Park falls into the character area of the ‘Derry Slopes’. Creggan Country Park claims ownership to its 100-acre site, which ranges from the lower reservoir at Forest Park/Creggan Road to Bligh’s Lane a distance of approximately 1400 metres and is bounded to the North by the Holyhall Road (formerly “Holywell”) and to the Northeast by Westway. Within this area the land varies from a plateau comprising species rich grassland at the upper end to steeply banked grassland surrounding the middle reservoir.
The North West corner of the middle reservoir provides a spectacular viewing platform. Its location 100 metres above sea-level presents a panoramic view of the hills of Donegal to the North, in the foreground is the North East of the city punctuated by the spire of St Eugene’s Cathedral and in the distance can be seen the Lough Foyle estuary with Binevenagh mountain visible almost thirty miles away.
The three reservoirs on the site were built during the 19th century. These are the upper, middle and lower reservoirs. It is believed that the reservoirs were constructed in the mid 1800’s under an Unemployed Relief Scheme during the famine period in Ireland. The upper reservoir was breached during a “one in five hundred years flood” during the early 1970’s and was never repaired. The middle 9.5acre reservoir, reaches a depth in excess of fifty feet in places. The lower reservoir, in the region of 14 acres is around 40 feet at the deepest point. The upper reservoir has little water in it and is currently unused.
The middle reservoir was formerly used for angling, but this activity has now transferred to the lower reservoir, which was landscaped and fenced for the purpose, freeing the middle for development as a water sports facility.
“Campbell’s Stream” originates from its source on Sherriffs Mountain and meanders its way to its second course at Spring Hill before entering the reservoirs at Creggan Country Park.
“Creevagh Burn” originates at Creevagh Hill and flows towards Glassagh Hill and runs along Heather Road then to Bligh’s Lane before meeting Campbell’s Stream at Springhill. A dam is in place which forms sufficient head for Campbell’s stream to hurdle the Creevagh Burn via two 9 inch pipes. The Creevagh Burn is thus then directed along the Creggan “By-wash”.
Biodiversity or Biological Diversity is simply the variety of living things around us. Micro organisms, plants, invertebrates, birds and mammals all make up biodiversity in an ecosystem. Biodiversity is all around us including our gardens, parks, fields, lakes and rivers, people are also important for biodiversity as their actions can improve it or destroy it!
Biodiversity is important to the economy, to people and to culture and heritage. Without biodiversity we would not have the raw materials to make clothing, medicine and many people would not have jobs in industries such as agriculture, tourism and fishing. Many people also appreciate biodiversity through leisure activities such as hiking in the countryside or bird watching.
Every one of us needs to play their part in looking after our native plants and animals.
Here at Creggan Country Park, we value and depend on our natural surroundings and through a range of projects we aim to protect and enhance biodiversity on our 100-acre site. By doing this we can create a safe habitat for a wide range of invertebrates, birds and mammals and we also improve the visual aspect of our site so that visitors can appreciate the beauty of local wildlife.
Creggan Country Park aims to increase biodiversity on its 100-acre site through annual tree and wildflower planting, clean ups and environmental workshops such as nest box building with the help of local schools and community groups. Our project, ‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ was launched in 2007, 1000 native trees and 500 wildflowers were planted, local schools and community groups helped carry out scrub clearance and path maintenance, a bird feeding area was created, willow dome was installed with seating, picnic areas were created beside the activity centre, bird tables and nest boxes were installed at various areas of the site and a range of workshops were delivered to pupils from local schools on how they can help wildlife.
Clearing scrub and planting more trees and wildflowers allowed us to create new habitats for wildlife and has brought much needed colour to the site.
Derry's Local Biodiversity Action Plan
In January 2007, Derry City Council employed a Biodiversity Officer to develop a Local Biodiversity Action Plan for Derry. The Derry and District Biodiversity Partnership was then set up lead by Derry City Council, the partnership consisted of stakeholders and interest groups including Creggan Country Park. The aim of the partnership was to ensure local biodiversity issues are being addressed. The Biodiversity Action Plan or BAP is set out to protect and enhance biodiversity in urban and rural areas of the City thus providing a clean, safe, accessible and sustainable environment for people to enjoy while also looking after the health and wellbeing of its communities. More information on Biodiversity can be obtained from Julie Corry, Derry's Biodiversity Officer. Projects at Creggan Country Park aim to compliment this action plan and will help protect those priority species listed in the document.
Key Characteristics of Biodiversity at Creggan Country Park:
• Grassland and tree cover amounts to 77% of land; the remaining 33% is water.
• 40% of the lands have been developed in an environmentally sensitive fashion so biodiversity was not disrupted and is now accessible to the public for informal recreation, fishing and watersports activity.
• 60% of the lands left with next to no human interference or intervention for decades. Definite plant succession can be identified with a species rich wetland and a wide range of fauna including a nesting buzzards, sparrowhawks, herons, little grebe and mallard as well as a wide range of passerines including chaffinch, siskin and chiffchaff. In addition we have a visiting otter and resident foxes and hedgehogs all within the city limits. A list of all mammals, birds, wildflowers, trees and invertebrates can be found in our 'Step Back in Time' pamphlets.
Below is a picture of a coal tit after ringing and a new sighting - a spotted Flycatcher photographed by local resident Charles Hegarty