Rural Recreation Programme

Introduction

County Wicklow is fortunate to be one of the 12 areas in the country to have been allocated the services of a Rural Recreation Officer to support the expansion of outdoor recreational opportunities in County Wicklow for residents and tourists alike. The programme is funded by the Department of Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs, Fáilte Ireland and Wicklow County Council.

Main Aims & Activities

  • To implement the Walks Scheme in County Wicklow
  • To coordinate and oversee the management and enhancement of trails in the county
  • To assist local communities developing new routes
  • To assist in the marketing and promotion of other trails in the region

Walks Scheme

This is a national scheme through which landowners are paid to maintain and upgrade nationally approved walks on private land.

The Walks Scheme has been rolled out on the Wicklow Way and 3 local routes.

Payments to all landowners for maintenance is made on a 6 month basis

CWP will pay out €45,950 per year for 5 years to the current participants on the scheme.

Despite the current economic conditions, the Department of Community, Equality & Gaeltacht Affairs has agreed to expand the scheme to take in 3 new loops developed in Tinahely, which underlines the importance of walking to local economies.

For more information on the Walks Scheme, see: http://www.pobail.ie/en/RuralDevelopment/NationalRuralDevelopment/ComhairlenaTuaithe/WalksScheme/file,8881,en.pdf

Walks Development

The County Wicklow Partnership Rural Recreation Officer has been involved in a pilot Walkers Welcome Initiative in Tinahely in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland. The aim of the project is to work with the Tinahely Area Development group in the development of the area as an ideal tourist base and a hub for walking holidays. Building on the success of Tinahely Railway Walk (flat walk) 3 new looped walks have been developed ranging from easy to difficult with a total length of 31km. The loops are:- Mangan’s Lane 5 km, Ballycumber 10 km and Kyle 16 km.

An annual Tinahely Walking Festival was launched in April 2009 with over 600 participants.

Four local walks have been developed

  1. Jacobs Ladder Rathdrum
  2. Rathdrum Famine Graveyard
  3. Rathdrum Railway Station to Avondale House
  4. Coole, Tinahely

Three mountain access routes have been developed:

  1. Glenmalure
  2. Kanturk
  3. Little Sugarloaf

Three mountain access routes are at development stage:

  1. Lacken
  2. Kippure
  3. Ballinfoyle

Contact Details

For further information, or if you would like to develop a walk in your local area, contact:

Patrick Mellon

County Wicklow Partnership

Avoca River House, Bridgewater Centre, Arklow,

Co. Wicklow.

Email: pmellon@wicklowpartnership.ie

Mobile: 087 7888188