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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Greening the Grey in Whitehead

Pictured is Mayor Cllr, William McCaughey and Cllr Maureen Morrow with volunteers at the willow sculpture, Beach Road Nature Reserve.

Brighter Whitehead secured two small pots of funding from PEACE IV ‘Your Place Our Space’ (YPOS) and Live Here Love Here in 2019 for community horticulture projects. Due to COVID related delays, the projects are only now finalised. Mayor Councillor William McCaughey said:

“Our Officers give great support to volunteers but the volunteers also support this Council and Borough in return. The volunteers passion and dedication never fails to impress and it is great to see such creative projects happening in Whitehead.

“I’ve been delighted to see more residents making use of these green spaces following recent improvements and I was also delighted to see that a Chatty Bench has been installed at the ‘Railway Garden’ which will hopefully encourage more socialisation in this area.”

Bill Pollock, Chairman of Brighter Whitehead, said:

“We were delighted to receive the funding initially and even more delighted to now see the projects completed this summer.

"We secured funding from Live Here Love Here and commissioned a willow sculpture. The sculpture was completed by Welig Heritage Crafts and is now based at Beach Road Nature Reserve. It depicts a Lighthouse Keeper watching over Blackhead Lighthouse and complements the natural surroundings of the reserve.

"The PEACE IV YPOS funding was secured to transform a neglected corner of Whitehead beside the station. Brighter Whitehead have been steadily improving this area ourselves for a number of years with wildlife friendly planting and by adding features such as boat and railway sleepers, however, it was great to get this additional funding boost which enabled contractors to take on some of the heavy landscaping works. This area was the first thing passengers coming from the train saw, it’s now a much more welcoming feature and will hopefully attract more visitors to Whitehead.”

Pictured is Cllr Maureen Morrow with volunteers at the railway garden.

Carrickfergus Mens Shed members said:

“We were pleased to work in partnership with Brighter Whitehead on this project. Mens Shed members built and painted a range of bird boxes in various shapes, sized and colours, as well as a few insect homes, which have been installed on site.

“Our members really enjoyed working on this project and we’ve seen lots of families and members of the public visit the space especially to see the range of boxes on the wall and pick out their favourites. Hopefully some birds and insects will make the site their home and boost the biodiversity in the area.” Brighter Whitehead meet each week on a Tuesday. New members are always welcome. For more information, contact Bill Pollock or

Carrickfergus Mens Shed have been meeting regularly since 2016 and always welcome new members. The Shed is open from 10am to 12noon, Monday to Friday. For more information visit or

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