Family fun day is ‘knit’ all it seems

Louise Williamson (second from left) with local community crafters getting ready for Diamond Jubilee Woods Woollen Wood Grand Opening 2016

Louise Williamson (second from left) with local community crafters getting ready for Diamond Jubilee Woods Woollen Wood Grand Opening 2016

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The only ‘Woollen Wood’ anywhere in Northern Ireland will be unveiled soon with a grand opening marked by a free family fun day.

Running from 1pm – 4pm, it is scheduled to take place on Saturday 7 May with Mid and East Antrim Borough Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, commenting: “For the second consecutive year, Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead will be transformed into a ‘woollen wonderland’ featuring hundreds of woodland-themed artworks made from wool, which have been created by schools, community groups, craft groups and individuals all over Northern Ireland.”

Knitted hedgehogs created for the hedgehog themed Woollen Woods 2016

Knitted hedgehogs created for the hedgehog themed Woollen Woods 2016

Explaining that this project is a collaboration between Mid and East Antrim Borough Council and local craft shop Lighthouse Yarns, Cllr Ashe added: “Our main aim is to combine the arts and environment, to draw new audiences to crafting and biodiversity, to enhance local culture.

“The theme for this year is hedgehogs as our Woollen Woods Grand Opening falls within Hedgehog Awareness Week.

“Our hedgehogs are in decline and one of the main reasons is loss of habitat. We’d like to celebrate the fact that Diamond Jubilee Wood is a haven for hedgehogs, as well as many other birds, insects, frogs and mammals,” he said.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council wants to encourage more people to get involved in local biodiversity, in line with its Local Biodiversity Action Plan, so the aim is to do so through a range of fun and inspirational events which have biodiversity at their core.

Cllr Ashe said: “I encourage everyone to come along and see the wonderful display on Saturday 7 May and join in with some family friendly festivities including arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting, pond dipping, bug hunts, nest box building and more.”

Louise Williamson, Lighthouse Yarns, added: “We have received so many woollen donations from creative crafters across the country and I can’t wait to see them all on display.

“Thank you for all the hard work. We hope the grand opening will offer a little something for everyone – a day to keep the whole family entertained and, of course, keep the devoted crafters and budding biodiversity experts happy!”

Louise concluded: “If you go ‘down to the woods today’ you might just find a knitted robin sitting in a tree, a crocheted mushroom on the forest floor or a whole host of handmade hedgehogs.”