The Best Park

Mid and East Antrim Borough joins search for UK’s best park

Marine Gardens Carrickfergus

A nationwide search to find the country’s favourite local green space, as nominated and selected by public vote, has just started. The national charity, Fields in Trust has launched the campaign to find the UK’s Best Park.

This unique award, as voted by the general public, is open to all public green spaces across the UK through a simple online nomination at

Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne

Launching the awards, former England international footballer, Graeme Le Saux, said: “The Fields in Trust’s annual awards are a fantastic way for us to recognise the organisations and individuals who help make our parks, playgrounds and playing fields the best they can be. “I was very fortunate that growing up in Jersey I had a huge amount of access to outdoor spaces and it was something I really appreciated as a youngster, not just because I wanted to be a football player but also because I was able to spend time outdoors with my friends. I understand the importance of these spaces and the opportunities they provide for our communities.

People’s Park, Ballymena

It might be that a local park is ideal for a Sunday afternoon stroll, or a neighbourhood playground is a hive of activity for children, or a nature reserve provides a stress-free space to relax. Either way, this is a chance to get everyone’s favourite space the recognition it deserves.”

Three of Mid and East Antrim Borough’s parks are in the running for the UK’s Best Park Award:

  • Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne,
  • Marine Gardens, Carrickfergus and
  • The People’s Park, Ballymena.

All residents are encouraged to show what these green spaces mean to them and to cast their vote at nomination at Voting has already opened for the nominated parks. The park with the most votes in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will then be shortlisted.

Nominators will be invited to attend the prestigious Fields in Trust Awards on Wednesday 30th November where the ‘UK’s Best Park- as voted by YOU! 2016’ will be named.


Museum Artworks Exhibition Opens Carrickfergus From Saturday 5th September

Poster for Ways of Seeing Exhibition
Ways of Seeing Flyer

An exhibition of museum artworks from across Mid and East Antrim Borough and Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough opens in Carrickfergus this weekend.

From Saturday 5th September, Ways of Seeing, A Sense of Place will be on display in Carrickfergus Museum and Civic Centre, and is the first of four venues to host this innovative exhibition.

Many of the artworks displayed have not been exhibited to the public previously and highlight buildings of historical value from across Ballymena, Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey.

Visitors to the exhibition can enjoy 21 artworks including art by Irish artists Gerard Dillion and Norman Wilkinson as well as artworks by local and amateur artists. The exhibition outlines the contributions made by community groups, photos of the project and includes their input. It is also an intergenerational project with younger visitors able to enjoy free digital engagement workshops as well.

The Ways of Seeing, A Sense of Place exhibition runs until October 10th opening times: 10am- 3pm. The exhibition tour will continue to:

  • Larne Museum and Arts Centre 16th Oct – 21 Nov
  • Children’s Workshop 24th October 11am -1pm (booking essential)
  • Mid Antrim Museum Ballymena 10th Dec 2015 – 6th Feb 2016
  • Museum at the Mill, Newtownabbey 4th March  – 26th March 2016
  • Children’s Workshop 12th March 1pm – 3pm (booking essential)

Booking should be via the Mid Antrim Museums Service, telephone 028 2563 5031.

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.