Creggan Country Park logo

About

Mission Statement

The mission statement of Creggan Country Park is:

…to provide an integrated and innovative facility for all sections of the community, which also enhances the economic, social and environmental aspects of life for the multiply deprived community of the Moor District Electoral Area.

Creggan Country Park’s working objective sets out:

...to improve the quality of life of those living in the North West by providing quality recreation facilities, green space rich in biodiversity and innovative training and employment opportunities at Creggan Country Park.

What we do

As a shared neutral green infrastructure space and outdoor adventure centre, the park combines to provide a platform for a programme of training and employment which addresses disadvantage by promoting inclusion and social cohesion at neighbourhood level. The park has four key priorities:

Protecting, managing and promoting the local environment

  • Environmental education programmes ‘Nature’s Classroom’ and 'Forest Academy'
  • Biodiversity and Green Infrastructure strategies led by Derry City and Strabane District Council
  • Continuous improvements of the site through planting, regeneration of disused areas and regular inspections/clean ups
  • Promoting urban regeneration through our Nature Hub
  • Action projects to protect priority species and enhance priority habitats
  • Upcycling initiatives using our old wetsuits and boats
  • Moor Environment Forum activities
  • Creggan Tree Nursery

Creating a healthy society

  • Providing access to attractive green spaces
  • Creating opportunities for outdoor recreation, particularly for families on low income
  • Encouraging participation in environmental conservation volunteering
  • Providing nature therapy and outdoor art therapy

Promoting inclusion and social cohesion

  • Ensuring access to new jobs and services
  • Addressing barriers to inclusion and targeting disadvantaged communities

Promoting sustainable development

  • Creating self-sustaining jobs
  • Utilising renewable energy including; biomass boiler, a hydroelectric scheme and turf roof
  • Providing ‘best practice’ visits to businesses, universities, colleges and international visitors
  • Promoting energy efficiency to visitors and staff
  • Environmental education workshop ‘Power from the Planet’ raises awareness on climate change and renewable energy

Activities on offer

We offer a wide range of both land and water based activities.

The Park continues to attract more visitors. Each year, over 20,000 visitors take part in nature themed activities, canoeing, environmental art, orienteering, team games, wheelyboat tour and angling lessons. 2,000 pupils taking part in environmental education each year.

Halloween, Christmas and Easter events provide additional opportunities for families and people of all ages to get outdoors to improve mental and physical health.

Free best practice visits are arranged regularly for community and corporate groups from across Northern Ireland. Creggan Country Park is a working best practice example of green infrastructure in action. During the best practice visits, our Environmental Officer presents a slide show on the history of Creggan Country Park, outlines activities, future plans and funders. Other topics include Renewable Energy, Environmental Education and Biodiversity followed by a tour of the facilities.

International delegates from Sweden, Germany, Denmark and Netherlands and Action Renewables with our Environmental Officer during a Best Practice Visit in 2015

Ethos

By providing an outdoor pursuits, education facility and green & blue space, we contribute to improving the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the community. We boost the local economy through tourism and job creation and support our young people and their personal development through recreation, volunteering and work experience. 

As a neutral space venue, we are used by all sections of the community and continue to promote better cross community relations.

Meet Our Team

Gerry Quinn, Manager

Gerry

Gerry has been instrumental in the conception and development of Creggan Country Park since 1980's.

Karen Healy, Environmental Officer

Karen

Karen has worked at Creggan Country Park since January 2007 and in that time has helped secure funding and manage a wide range of projects and initiatives including biodiversity management, environmental education, outreach programmes to elderly care home residents, personal development projects for young people, managing our volunteer programme and delivering good relations projects and event management throughout the year.

As our environmental officer, Karen has overall responsibility for creation and delivery of the habitat survey and management plan for the 100-acre site to ensure our activities do not interfere with biodiversity and to continually improve green & blue spaces through various projects.

Karen is chair of the Moor Environmental Forum and is a strategic partner in the Local Community Plan for the Moor, Foyle Biodiversity Forum, NW Water Catchment Stakeholder Group and DCSDC Green Infrastructure Stakeholder Group. Karen's qualifications include:

  • Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (Full member) MCIEEM
  • MSc Environmental Management
  • BSc Hons Environmental Science + Diploma in Industrial Studies with commendation
  • First Aid
  • Licensed bat worker
  • Walk leader
  • ILM Volunteer Management
  • TQUK Certificate Education and Training

Emmalene Edgar, Administrator

Emmalene

Sheila Byrne, Artist

Sheila Byrne

You don't have to look far to see the amazing work that our artist Sheila has done over the years. From the 8ft Willow Raven, to the stone pillars on our nature trail, the playground games in our nature hub to the mural on our activity centre. Sheila leads art workshops at Creggan Country Park for people of all ages; delivers art therapy in our partner care homes and facilitates willow weaving & outdoor art during our nature therapy sessions. Sheila studied Fine Art in Newcastle and London graduating with an MA in 1991. Moved to Park Village in 2005, where she has been practicing as a freelance artist and tutor.

Sheila has a strong background in community art and has facilitated a wide variety of projects engaging participants from the age of 4 to 84 including Derry Halloween. She enjoys the challenge of introducing people to being creative with a range of materials in both two and three dimensions whilst drawing inspiration from the natural world around us.

Awards

  • RFS Certificate of Merit for Education and Learning 2021
  • Winner of 'Best Day Out' category at Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards 2018
  • Winner of 'Best Day Out' category at Northern Ireland Hospitality Awards 2017
  • Winner of UK Grow Wild Award for Creative Transformation Category,2015
  • Winner Junior Chamber of Commerce Award for Social Enterprise 2015
  • Winner Best Social Economy at Social Enterprise NI Awards 2013
  • Winner of 'Environment Category' at Derry City Business Awards 2010-2013
  • Winner of 'Most Energy Efficient Community Initiative' at the Northern Ireland Housing Executive Home Energy Awards 2009
  • Winner 'Environment Category' Derry City Business Awards 2009
  • Runner Up in 'Natural & Built Heritage' Category at Pride of Place Awards 2009 – Creggan Country Park represented Derry at this year’s Pride of Place awards 2009 and was awarded runner up in the Environment category.  Pride of Place is an all-Ireland competition which is directed towards recognising improvements by local communities to create civic pride in their area. The competition focus is on people coming together to shape, change and enjoy all that is good about their area.  
  • Big Green Challenge 2008 – Creggan Country Park’s project was chosen in final 100 projects (only 1 of 3 projects chosen from Northern Ireland)  
  • Winner 'Sainsbury's Environmental Organisation' category at Derry City Business Awards 2007
  • Winner of BURA Community Inspired Regeneration Awards 2007 – Creggan Country Park recognised for its work in identifying and tackling a wide range of social and environmental issues in the local community. One of only 3 winners in NI.  
  • Runner Up at the RSPB Environment Awards 2006
  • Creggan Country Park’s environmental programme was chosen as a model of Best Practice Environmental Option (BPEO) for the Cityside South Regeneration Taskforce Neighbourhood renewal area (known as TRIAX) which takes into account the Bogside, Brandywell, the Fountain and Creggan neighbourhoods of Derry City.
Have an adventure on your doorstep and enjoy our outdoor activities
Booking enquiry

Set up by the community

As a registered charity that delivers not for profit outdoor activities, we provide access to recreation, education, training, volunteering and a biodiversity rich site for the community.

Activities include water sports, orienteering, geocaching, raft building, free environmental education workshops for schools and annual wildlife and holiday themed events including our popular Hallowe'en programme.
This website is funded by The Fore RAFT Fund
The For logo
Creggan Country Park, 196 Westway, Creggan, Derry, BT48 9NU
Tel: 028 7136 3133
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