Parks

Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve and Countryside Centre

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Contact details

Address

Quoile Countryside Centre 5 Quay Road, Downpatrick, County Down,
Mrs
T: 0300 200 7856
F: (028) 4461 3280
E: nieainfo@daera-ni.gov.uk

We invite you to explore the Quoile Pondage Nature Reserve situated on the outskirts of Downpatrick.

There are plenty of excellent opportunities for bird watching for visitors both from the riverside path and at the bird hide overlooking the brackish pondage, which was created from the formerly known marine estuary in 1957. This was created by the building of a tidal barrage to provide a place for floodwaters to gather until the tide turned and subsequently colonised naturally with grassland, scrub and trees.

In summer, the riverside is covered in an array of different colours such as from colourful wild roses, willowherb, purple loosestrife and yellowcress. An abundance of wildfowl also breed here, which include mute swans, mallard, tufted duck and the rarely-seen Gadwall. Wading birds on migration such as black-tailed godwit drop in during spring and autumn and in winter large numbers of wildfowl are abundant. These comprise of whooper swans, greylag geese and at least 17 species of duck including wigeon, goldeneye, shoveler, teal, pochard, scaup and shelduck plus occasional rarities such as smew and garganey.

Visitors can find out more about the Quoile Pondage, its history and its wildlife in the attractive stone cottage visitor centre with a nature garden adjacent to this.

Quoile Countryside Centre is located on the outskirts of Downpatrick, around 22 miles south east of Belfast City centre and is sign posted from the main A7 Belfast to Downpatrick road.

We hope you have an enjoyable positive experience at the Quoile Pondage. You may like to visit our other properties which include Scrabo Country Park, Newtownards and Cloghy Rocks Nature Reserve south of Strangford Village.

If you would like to provide us with your comments, feedback or ideas for improvement please contact us at: nieainfo@daera-ni.gov.uk