BALLYHOURA Development welcomed the inclusion of the Ballyhoura Way and Ballyhoura Loop Walks in the government walking program.
The Walks Program was launched in 2008 to facilitate the development and maintenance of major hiking trails by private landowners. This is the first time that local trails in the Ballyhoura area will be added to the program, which provides funding to farmers and other landowners to maintain the trails that cross their farms.
The investment is designed to further improve the Ballyhoura landscaping product and the experience of visitors to the region.
Announcing the investment, Minister Heather Humphreys, Minister for Community and Rural Development, said: “Our driveways, footpaths, greenways, blue and cycle paths are a defining feature of rural Ireland. Over the past few months we have witnessed unprecedented investments in our landscaping, supported by the most ambitious policy ever for rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’. In rolling out the walks program, my department works closely with our local development companies, community groups, and rural farmers and landowners. We are indebted to our farmers and other landowners across the country who make it easy to access these beautiful trails and who, through this program, are now funded to keep the walks at the high standard we all have come to expect ”.
John Kennedy, president of Ballyhoura Heritage and Environment, which is the body responsible for many local trails, thanked farmers and landowners “for their excellent cooperation over the past three decades of developing local Ballyhoura hiking routes.” , and welcomed the designation of many of the local hikes to the National Hiking Scheme.
Ballyhoura Development is a community-run local development company and registered charity, which works with communities, families, individuals and businesses in the Ballyhoura region in East Limerick and North Cork.
As part of the investment in local walks, funding will also be provided to Ballyhoura Development for the creation of a rural recreation officer position. The recreation officer will play a key role in the implementation of the walking program and the development of the outdoor recreation sector at the local level.