Situated between Ballysally & Millburn (Coleraine’s largest social housing area), The Cornfield Project is an amazing regeneration concept that has taken a previously abandoned and unloved area of land and turned it into a thriving nature zone with widespread environmental activity.
Prior to 2014, the site featured large-scale littering, regular fires, anti-social behaviour and was unused by most of the community. A partnership between Focus on Family in Ballysally and Millburn Community Association began a long-term process of site regeneration. Initial litter removal and environmental clear ups were shortly followed by the project winning the Grow Wild NI flagship site award in 2015. This enabled funding to develop woodland areas, wildflower meadows, community gardens and outdoor classrooms as well as lots of community engagement.
This has been followed up with the recent addition of a Men’s Shed, outdoor gym, polytunnel and Veteran’s Group facility. The site now attracts over 1000 weekly visitors and the team behind the project are working hard to continually improve the site and to offer new and exciting activities for everyone to enjoy.
The Cornfield Project has been developed as a tool to engage local communities in a completely new way by linking people together through nature. The vision for the project is to transform the Cornfield site that lies between the Millburn and Ballysally estates and, in doing so, bridge two divergent communities.
The benefits of the project could have a significant impact on those living within the areas and provide opportunities for similar community areas to build on its framework. The development of the site has the potential to generate new and fun activities, training opportunities and projects to generate further income.