Parks and Open Spaces

Countryside Access

Photograph of people walking across the Glens of Antrim towards the coast

One of the most attractive features of the Mid and East Antrim is its prime locations.

It combines all the charm of a bustling, historic town, mountain and coastal paths, while at the same time providing an ideal stepping stone into the calm serenity of rich, verdant Ulster countryside.

The Open Spaces Section of Council has a dynamic team of dedicated staff, volunteers and partners who work tirelessly to maintain and improve the parks and other public open spaces within the Borough and to ensure access to the countryside for everyone to enjoy.

Read 'The Countryside Code' on the NIDirect government services website.

Council is fully committed to meeting its obligations under the Access to the Countryside (Northern Ireland) Order 1983, By which District Councils in Northern Ireland have a duty: "to assert, protect and keep open and free from obstruction or encroachment any public right of way, and compile and preserve maps and other records of public rights of way in their district".

This means that in cases where public rights of way are disputed, Council has a duty to investigate such claims and gather evidence of use, so as to reach an informed decision regarding the existence or not of a public right of way.

Where necessary, the Council will seek legal advice in order to resolve disputed public rights of way cases.

Please note that we cannot get involved in private rights of way cases or other private cases involving access or land ownership issues.

The Outdoor Recreation Action Plan for Northern Ireland aims to support development to outdoor recreation opportunities and create a more widespread realisation of the benefits of the natural environment on general health and economy in Northern Ireland.

The vision of the outdoor recreation action plan is to create “a culture of dynamic, sustainable outdoor recreation in Northern Ireland”.