Ness Wood is named for ‘an las’ or Ness, meaning Waterfall, in this case the highest waterfall in Northern Ireland. After the last ice age, ten thousand years ago, the old Burntollet Rivercourse was blocked by glacial boulder clay deposits. In eroding a new channel through the underlying metamorphic schist rocks, the river has created the magnificent waterfall, gorges, portholes and rapids which are a feature of Ness Woods.
The Country Park is made up of 55 hectares of mixed woodland, including riverside walks, wildlife ponds, picnic tables, wildflower meadows and a new Visitor Centre where you can view an exhibition on woodland biodiversity. It is a remnant of extensive natural oakwoods. The site is notable for Purple Hairstreak butterflies, unusual in Northern Ireland. A rich variety of species of tree can be found, including beech, sweet chestnut, silver fir, larch, and cherry laurel.
NIEA has recently completed extensive development work in the park which now extends along both sides of the Burntollet River, joining Ness and Ervey woods.