A SHORT HISTORY
In the plantation of Ulster which followed the Flight of the Earls in 1607,
Turloug Og O'Boyle was granted Ards and the surrounding area
by the British, on condition of his loyalty to the Queen. They lost this area in 1641.
By the year 1700 the Wray family had possession of the land, they sold it in 1782 to Alexander Stewart, he resided in Ards until 1926. Ards came into the possession of the Irish Land Commission in 1926 after the acquisition of the "Stewart-Bam Estate" as it was known.
The nothern half of the Estate was held by the Land Commission for afforestation and the rest was divided among tenants. Ards Forest Park is the most northerly forested park in Ireland, located on Sheephaven Bay and one of the few in Ireland situtated by the seaside.
Visitors driving from the entrance to the car park located near the shore, pass Lough Lilly which is covered with lilies during the month of August. There are a number of trails and walks with breathtaking views of woodland, mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. There are also many forms of wildlife in the park.
It has six different habidtats in its 481 hectares: Deciduos and Coniferous woodlands, Sault-dunes and seashore, Salt marsh, Saltwater Lakes, Rockface, Fernlands.