WATERFORD Senator John Cummins and Green Party TD for Waterford, Marc Ó Cathasaigh welcomed the announcement that six Waterford walking trails will share an allocation of €105,900 under Measure 2 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.
The announcement about the scheme was made by Minister of Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and the Islands, Heather Humphreys TD.
“The Covid situation has given people a renewed appreciation of the benefit of the outdoors to their wellbeing. More than ever, people are placing huge value on the outdoor recreation infrastructure in their local areas,” Senator Cummins said.
Senator Cummins said it is estimated that an additional 500,000 regular recreational walkers have taken to pavements, walks and trails during Covid-19 when compared to the same time 12 months ago.
“The walking trails, cycleways, mountain access routes and other facilities that the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme supports provide vital opportunities for people in rural areas to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment,” he said.
Deputy Ó Cathasaigh believes these projects are a valuable part of bolstering active tourism in West Waterford.
“We have a fantastic active tourism product developing in West Waterford alongside a vibrant food offering. With the Greenway and St. Declan’s Way serving as the cornerstone, these walks in Mellary and Ballysaggartmore, amongst others, add significantly to that offering,” he said.
Meanwhile, Measure 1 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme allows Local Authorities and Local Development Companies to seek funding (max €20,000) for small scale projects that are in line with the objectives and focus of the Scheme. This includes the upkeep and repair of already established trails, walkways, cycleways, greenways and blueways, improved access to leisure or recreational facilities, and the promotion and marketing of such infrastructure.
The successful projects are:
The Towers Walk (Ballysaggartmore): €20,000 – Maintenance and repair work to the trail and historic structures that are synonymous with this popular local amenity.
Boolas Looped Walk (Rathgormack): €10,800 – Repair works to sections of the Boolas Loop Walk, part of the Rathgormack Walks network.
Abbeyside Coastal Walk (Abbeyside): €20,000 – Upgrade of further section of the Abbeyside Coastal Path between Lansend and Abbeyside boardwalk.
Nire Valley Walks (Nire Valley): €20,000 – Ongoing maintenance of Nire Valley Walks including extension of boardwalk section.
Mount Melleray Monastery Walks (Cappoquin): €17,550 – Upgrade to three quality looped walks off the 100km St. Declan’s Walk between Cashel and Ardmore. The Well Walk 2.5kms, CrossWalk 4.1kms, Source Walk 9.1kms.
Carriglea Wood Enhancement: €17,550 – Clear vegetation, planting, feature enhancements along the walk. Website to promote the walk.