Note:Closing time in June, July and August has been changed to 9pm.
To get to the Regional Park (western end) go to the roundabout at the west end of Ballincollig town and take the Inniscarra Road. About half a mile along the road, just before the Inniscarra Bridge, on your right, you will see the entrance for the park. At the entrance to the park area, you will see the distinctive white building as in the photo below. There is parking for cars here and access to the walks and playing fields. This western end of the park area is generally thought of as the Regional Park but it does connect via paths to the eastern end where most of the Gunpowder Mills buildings are dotted about. See the map below for the walks. Below is a link to a walking map of the Regional Park, Ballincollig. Print it off ant take it with you. The map was produced with sponsorship from the Cork County Council for Ballincollig Heritage Association.
In 2006, Tom Butler, Chairman of the Ballincollig Tidy Towns, presented Councellor Michael Creed, Mayor of Cork County, with a copy of the report they had commissioned on the Flora and Fauna Study and Habitat Assessment of Ballincollig Regional Park.
This report, which was supported by the Heritage Council, was the result of many months of painstaking work by a group of very dedicated and highly qualified interested people.
Very early in 2005, Ballincollig Tidy Towns approached UCC to enquire if they would undertake an ecological assessment of Ballincollig Regional Park for them with a variety of objects in mind among them to protect the natural heritage of the park for further generations of local residents and visitors and to improve the committee’s knowledge of the habitats and the constituent flora and fauna inhabiting the park, or otherwise utilising it.
Gerard Morgan who is involved in environmental consultancy in UCC, agreed to put a group of willing volunteers together from both inside and outside of UCC, to undertake this work for the Tidy Towns Committee, for a nominal fee.
The programme of the project centered around a simple baseline Flora & Fauna survey of the park which is seen as an essential first step in improving people’s understanding of the diversity of species and habitats within the park. At a very early stage in the discussions, the approach to the report, was discussed and agreed by Brendan Murphy Ballincollig Tidy Towns, Sharon Casey, Heritage Officer, Cork County Council, Professor John O’Halloran (ZEPS, UCC) and Ger. Morgan, MSc. (Environmental Consultant, UCC).
Tom Butler, Chairman of Ballincollig Tidy Towns said that their committee sees this as the first systematic step in cataloguing what many users already know about the park’s rich natural history.
It is also hoped that the report will help raise awareness among interested parties and the wider public, especially in the hinterland of the park, about the very valuable natural asset, which the Regional Park, constitutes.
The very comprehensive report will be presented to the local schools, in the near future and also to Ballincollig Library, so that people can learn about the natural hidden treasures within the park.
This report appeared in the Muskerry News, Vol., 4, Issue 7, February 2006
After the severe flooding along the River Lee, in 2009, the SEA (Strategic Environmental Assessment) produced an Environmental report (February 2010) in which they discuss the “Lee catchment Flood Risk Assessment and Management”. Lee Flooding Assessment Report[added January 2012]
Text by Margaret Jordan and photos by Randy Jordan