Dig out your boots – Countryside Walks begin!

Ballymoney Borough Council in association with the Bank of Ireland is delighted to announce the first two walks in the 2011 Programme.

The events kick off with the GARRY BOG RAMBLE on Thursday 2 June. This is a special visit to the Garry Bog Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), a site of world importance and one of the few remaining areas of intact raised bog. It is a site of particular nature conservation interest due to the diverse flora and fauna found there, in particular, the dragonflies in June. Rachel Bain, Biodiversity Officer for Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady, will lead this 2 mile walk through a beautiful, natural landscape and there will be an opportunity also to visit nearby Garry Wood. Suitable for most walkers and walking boots or “wellies” essential.

Given the national importance of this site, numbers are limited by ticket to 25 persons on a “first come” basis. Ticket holders should assemble at 6.30pm at Townhead Street Car Park, Ballymoney or on the Ballybogey Road, right hand lay-by, 2.2 miles from the Portrush Roundabout.

The BALNAMORE MILL/O’HARABROOK ESTATE WALK follows on Wednesday 8 June. This 3 mile circular walk starts and finishes in the village of Balnamore. Walkers will have the opportunity to visit Balnamore Mill and discover the history associated with this site from Museum Manager Keith Beattie.

The second part of the evening includes a leisurely stroll through O’Harabrook Estate, hosted by landowner Brigit Cramsie. Participants will have the opportunity to hear some of the many tales associated with this superb property and view the exquisite grounds. The evening will conclude with some light refreshments before returning to Balnamore village. Numbers are limited to 80 persons by pre-booked ticket on a first come basis. Ticket holders should assemble at 6.30pm at Townhead Street Car Park, Ballymoney or at Balnamore Primary School at 7.00pm.

Tickets for both walks cost £3 per person and are available by telephoning 028 2766 0227 or by calling in person to Riada House, 14 Charles Street, Ballymoney. For further information on these or other walks in the Programme please contact the Countryside Access Officer 028 27660236 or visit www.ballymoney.gov.uk