Forthill Park: the quietest beauty spot in Fermanagh?

THERE’S little doubt that Forthilll Park in Enniskillen is  one of the county town’s most attractive public spaces.
The trouble is it is woefully underused, not enough people seem to know about it, and by and large it lies empty for most of the year.
Although major plans are being put in place to develop Enniskillen’s hidden jewel. 
Forthill Park in Enniskillen is a five and a half acre wooded park above Belmore Street and Forthill Street with famous landmark Cole’s Monument at its centre. 
The park, however, too often lies virtually empty with most people, it seems opting to enjoy a stroll at the Broadmeadow, the Round O or even Castle Coole. 
The park is overdue investment and promotion, and the Council has now secured £140,000 from the Landfill Communities Fund to complete much-needed improvement works to Forthill Park to encourage more people to visit and make use of the park. 
The proposed redevelopment project will include refurbishment works to the Bandstand, Cole’s Monument, pathways and the installation of a ‘Tree Trail’ to promote biodiversity.
Estate Agent Niall Smyth of Smyth Leslie believes the park adds a lovely dimension to the town centre but the difficulty is locals never think of visiting the park as it is essentially ‘out of view and therefore out of mind.’
Mr Smyth said, “The park needs to be opened up visually to the public. Visitors do not know it is there and locals tend to forget about it. If the entrance was more visual and dominant I am of the opinion that we might see more activity in the park. 
“Activities such as summer music nights held in the park, our own version of ‘Music in the Park’, would also pull us towards using the park. It is a different world once within the park boundary and that needs to be emphasised. We are experiencing more visitors to Enniskillen and the feedback regarding the town is so positive, people cannot believe how lovely it is. I’m sure 99% will not have had a walk through Forthill Park. It needs to be seen to be appreciated.”
A spokesman for the Council said, “The works are anticipated to begin in autumn and will be undertaken on a phased basis to minimise disruption. Forthill Park will remain open during the works, however access to some areas of the park may be restricted while works are ongoing. 
Redevelopment works are expected to be complete by June 2020.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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