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Minister Humphreys Announces Funding to Upgrade 43 Walking and Hiking Trails Across Rural Ireland

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has announced the upgrade of 43 walking and hiking trails across rural Ireland.

Under the Government’s Walks Scheme, over €408,000 will be provided to resurface, re-route and improve outdoor trails to benefit local communities, tourists, walkers and hikers alike.

The investment is designed to open up our countryside to visitors and make Ireland a world-class destination for adventure tourism. The funding will improve trail surfaces, drainage, waymarking and signage, enhancing these trails and the surrounding countryside.

It will also provide seating, picnic and recreation areas, and reroute some trails which will enhance the experience of those using them. These projects are being delivered in partnership with landowners, Local Development Companies, Community Trail Management Organisations and other stakeholders.

Under the Walks Scheme, funding is provided to farmers and other landholders to maintain the trails that cross their land.

Among the successful projects being announced today:

  • Hymany Way, Forum Connemara: Resurface trail and install drainage – €10,000
  • Dingle Way, North East West Kerry Development: Path upgrade, installation of new trailhead map board in Tralee and installation of a self-closing pedestrian gate. – €10,000
  • Leitrim Way, Leitrim Development Company: Resurface trail, drainage and installation of a bog bridge, 2 picnic benches and a stile. – €10,000
  • Multeen Way, South Tipperary Development Company Ltd: Resurface trail and install drainage – €10,000
  • Western Way, South West Mayo Development Company: Replacement of damaged wooden bridge with galvanised version – €10,000
  • Wicklow Way, County Wicklow Partnership: Resurface trail and install reverse grade waterbars to assist drainage – €10,000
  • Sheep’s Head Way, West Cork Development Partnership: Upgrade of signage on trail and improving trail at Gortnakilla & Funeral Path – €10,000

Along with the recent announcement of 62 new trails approved to join the Walks Scheme, this funding will support the growth of outdoor recreation across rural Ireland and will provide high-quality recreation opportunities which are key commitments of the ‘Embracing Ireland’s Outdoors’, National Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023 – 2027.

Making the announcement Minister Humphreys said “There is no better way of seeing our beautiful countryside than to use the many trails and walkways that are dotted around the country. These trails, many of which were created by volunteers and community groups, need to be cherished and maintained, so they can continue to be enjoyed by all.

“So today, I’m delighted to announce this funding to enhance these 43 trails across the country. These projects will also see investment into the local economy as they are carried out by small contractors using materials from local suppliers. This funding, along with my recent announcement of 62 new trails joining the Walks Scheme, underpins my Department’s continuing commitment to invest in rural Ireland in line with ‘Our Rural Future’.

“The collaboration between community groups and Local Development Companies behind the upgrade and enhancement of these trails is wonderful to see and I commend everyone for their great work.

“I would like to invite you to visit your local trails, and enjoy the beautiful sights, sounds and fresh air.”

(Source: Department of Rural and Community Development)


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