Woollen Woods Whitehead

Woollen Mouse
Woollen Mouse

An innovative outdoor artwork, ‘Woollen Woods’, that took place last year in Whitehead, has been nominated for the prestigious 2016 Epic Awards. YOU CAN VOTE ON THIS.

“During the project a number of craft workshops were held at Lighthouse Yarns which proved popular and a free family fun day was held, with activities including pom-pom making, felting, origami, bug hunting and pond dipping. It featured hundreds of woodland-themed woollen artworks which were created by schools, knitting groups and individuals all over Northern Ireland and it  subsequently became the first Woollen Wood in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Its main aim was to create the first such Woollen Wood in Ireland and to combine the arts and the environment to draw new audiences to crafting, conservation and biodiversity in a way to enhance local culture.

The prestigious 2016 Epic Awards nomination followed. The winners and runner ups will be chosen by a panel of judges, but there is an additional People’s Choice Award where the public can choose their favourite of the shortlisted groups.

To vote, visit http://shortlist.epicawards.co.uk/and vote for Woollen Woods Whitehead. Voting is open until 5pm on Wednesday 23 March.

Louise Williamson, Lighthouse Yarns, has been overwhelmed by the Epic Awards nomination and with the support for the project. Louise said: “The best thing about Woollen Woods Whitehead was seeing community participation and the great community spirit that was on show.

“The installation included over 50 private wool donations, creations from Whitehead Primary School, Kilcoan Primary School, Islandmagee, and Mitchell House School Belfast and donations from Top Floor Art, Belfast Stitch & Bitch and Keep Her Knit, Londonderry.

“The Whitehead Wombles, Whitehead Community Association, Brighter Whitehead, and the Whitehead craft circles who crotched flowers for months beforehand, were a huge help throughout the project.

“I’m now looking forward to a bigger and better Woollen Woods 2016,”she added.

  1. Woollen Woods is a UK-wide project that began in 2013 and covers five regions on the UK mainland. Diamond Jubilee Wood is the first Woollen Wood in Northern Ireland. For more info on Woollen Woods visit http://voluntaryartsweek.org/woollen-woods/
  2. Woollen Woods Whitehead 2016 will be opening on Saturday 7 May 2016 with a family fun day. All woollen donations welcome. Post donations to Lighthouse Yarns, The Bank House, Edward Road, Whitehead, BT38 9QB. Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2016.

Woodland Volunteers Needed

Poster asking for volunteers
Volunteer Poster

A call has gone out across Mid and East Antrim for volunteers keen to conserve and protect local woodland assets. With the additional benefits of getting outdoors in the fresh air, learning new skills and meeting new, like-minded people, the Mid and East Antrim Borough Volunteer Programme has just opened.

Rosie Irwin, Contracts Manager with The Woodland Trust, said, “Tasks will vary from litter picking and path maintenance to wildlife surveys and tree management. Anyone can volunteer. It doesn’t matter what experience you have, what skills you have, or how much time you can commit, everyone has something to give.”


As a member of the ‘Friends Of’ volunteer group, participants would play a vital role in bringing local woods to life by helping to open them up for everyone to enjoy. Councillor Billy Ashe, the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, described the benefits of such work: “Voluntary work can be inspiring and rewarding – a real learning experience. “It develops new, practical skills, allows participants to meet new people and also helps them learn more about the local environment. Volunteering can help in gaining confidence and self-esteem and can also have health benefits, by being active outdoors. and of course, it can be great fun.”

The meetings will be on the second Saturday of each month on site from 10am to 1pm. Find out more at Oakfield Community Centre at 10am on Saturday 12th September 2015 if you are interested.