Our Rural Future: Minister Humphreys announces almost €1 million in funding to support and improve 446 walking trails


·       Grants of up to €3,000 to be provided to 175 community groups

·       Funding for the purchase of maintenance equipment and to promote the use of trails by visitors


Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Wednesday, 10th August) announced funding of almost €1 million to support and improve some 446 walking trails across the country.


Under the initiative, grants of €1,000 – €3,000 will be provided to 175 community groups responsible for managing the trails throughout rural Ireland.


The groups will be able to use the grant to maintain and improve their local trail and promote its use to visitors.


Among the trails that are subject to the grant funding include:


·       The East Clare Way in Co. Clare

·       Beara Way in Co. Cork and Kerry

·       Leitrim Way in Co. Leitrim

·       Land of the Giants in Co. Mayo

·       The Blessington Greenway in Co. Wicklow

·       Bluestack Way in Co. Donegal


The 175 groups to receive the funding are known as Community Trail Management Organisations.


They are registered with Sport Ireland and work in partnership with the local authority, Coillte and the Local Development Company (LDC) in maintaining their local trails.


Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:


“Our walkways, trails and greenways are an integral feature of Rural Ireland.


“They have been a godsend to us all, particularly during COVID-19, in terms of supporting our physical and mental wellbeing.


“This new initiative that I am announcing today is all about keeping these trails in top condition and supporting their use by both domestic and international visitors.


“So, it might be a case of using the grant to purchase a strimmer in order to maintain the local trail.


“Or a community group may decide to build a new website to promote their trail to a wider audience.


“The grants that I am announcing today range from €1,000 to €3,000 and are being provided to 175 community groups that are tasked with managing the trails in partnership with their local authority, Coillte and Local Development Company.”


The Minister continued:


“I am delighted to announce this funding for Community groups today and to continue the unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by the most ambitious ever policy for Rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’.

“A National Outdoor Recreation Strategy is currently being developed by my Department in conjunction with Comhairle na Tuaithe. The Strategy, which is due to be launched shortly, will provide a long term vision for the growth and development of outdoor recreation in Ireland.

“This once off grant funding is in keeping with the objectives of the strategy by supporting local stakeholders to maintain and develop outdoor recreation facilities such as these registered walking trails.”


Minister Humphreys concluded:


“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Community groups, the landowners and everyone else involved in the development and maintenance of these outdoor recreation facilities for their all hard work and commitment to their community.”


The list of trails that are eligible to apply for grant funding can be found here

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