Rea's Wood Nature Reserve
Grid Reference: J 142855
Rea's Wood stretches for one mile along the shores of Lough Neagh and is a fine example of a wet woodland, dominated by alder, willow and birch trees.
The lough level has been lowered several times and the woodland now straddles parallel sand bars with peaty hollows in between that were once part of the lake bed. The luxuriantly vegetated woodland floor provides ideal habitat not only for many plants but also for many rare invertebrates including snails, slugs, hoverflies and beetles.
Some of these creatures are relics from the Ice Age still occurring in Rea's Wood because of an unbroken history of woodland cover in this area for several thousand years. Through mossy alder trees are rich swampy areas with sedges, marsh marigold, tall yellow flags and the rare and beautiful summer snowflake.
The chorus of springtime birdsong is most impressive.
Among the familiar melodious songs of the robin, wren and blackbird, it is also possible to hear chiffchaff, blackcap and willow warbler.
Car park, information points, paths, cycle path. Toilets are available at the Loughshore Park, Antrim. Contact the Site manager on Tel. 028 3885 3950.