Glas-na-Bradan Wood.

Photo credit: Michael Cooper / WTML

In 2021 the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland bought 98 hectares of agricultural land within Collinward, Belfast with ambitions to create a new native woodland for people, nature and climate.  Later that year, the Woodland Trust Northern Ireland asked for suggestions to name the new woodland within the Belfast Hills.  Named for the river that originates on site, Glas-na-Bradan Wood was the clear winner in the poll.

Glas-na-Bradan means ‘Stream of the salmon’ and refers to a creature from Irish mythology.  When the salmon eats nine hazelnuts from the stream it gains wisdom.  Finn McCool ate the salmon, and the wisdom was passed on.   Look out for the large salmon swimming in the Glas-na-Bradan stream and hazel trees throughout the site.

150,000 native trees are being planted to create the 57-acre native woodland.   Tree species include hazel, oak, wild cherry, Scots pine, alder, rowan and downy birch.

The remaining land within Glas-na-Bradan is made up of upland heath and species rich grassland.

Map showing Glas na Bradan with illustrations

Where to walk….

Hightown Hike

Take a walk up the ‘Hightown Hike’, the newly surfaced trail, for approximately 2kms, from the entrance off the Hightown Road to the summit of Glas-na-Bradan at 360m. As one of the highest points within the Belfast Hills, those who reach the top of Glas-na-Bradan will be rewarded with big views on a clear day from Slemish to the Mournes, and from Lough Neagh to across the Irish Sea.

Further Information…

Open to the public year round. You can access Glas-na-Bradan Wood through the same entrance to St Enda’s on the Hightown Road, Newtownabbey.


Belfast Hills map
Grid reference: C474131
Woodland Trust Glas-na-Bradan Wood
Walk NI

Woodland Trust NI
There is open access to this site all year round

Access code
Before you go download our Access code leaflet. This provides general guidelines on how to look after yourself and the environment when out in the Hills