Saturday, 9 May 2009

The Birdman Of Belvoir

I'm going to make a point of paying Belvoir Forest Park a visit shortly. We have been visiting the Park less often since the authorities removed the feeder station beside the car park.

Nevertheless, they appear to have moved the feeders to another location and a dedicated RSPB worker, Michael Topping, henceforth to be known as the Birdman of Belvoir, has set up camp there - not literally - and is taking photographs of the wildlife.

Belvoir, on the outskirts of Belfast, still has a population of red squirrels, which can frequently be seen at the feeders, if you happen to be there at the right time.

In 1876 Belvoir Park demesne was the residence of Sir Thomas Bateson, Bt, and it extended to 6,348 acres. Sir Thomas was elevated to the Peerage in 1885 as the Lord Deramore.

The Deramore barony is now extinct.

During the early 1920s Belvoir Park, including the mansion house, was considered as an official residence for the Governor of the newly-established Northern Ireland; it was felt, however, that the demesne was too extensive and Hillsborough Castle was, eventually, chosen instead.

I am unable to find a picture of Belvoir House on the internet; if anyone knows of one which can be published online, please let me know. The picture above is of poor quality, I'm afraid.

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