Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John Pratt was delighted to be on hand to officially open a new extension or ‘walking spur’ off the Waterford Greenway at Abbeyside earlier this week. The project consists of the upgrade of a walking path linking the Greenway behind Sea Park to White Strand, and Landsend to the Cove Beach.
Works include improving the existing trail surface, the installation of directional and interpretative signage, the erection of fencing to protect wildlife in the salt marsh and the planting of native species. With pathway construction now complete the remaining ancillary works will continue throughout the summer and early autumn. The project will complement greatly works that were carried out previously as part of the Dungarvan Smarter Travel project and the development of Waterford Greenway itself.
The project was funded under the 2019 Outdoor Recreation infrastructure Scheme (ORIS) which is administered at national level by The Department of Rural and Community Development in collaboration with Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority. The Scheme provides funding for the development and maintenance of outdoor amenities such as trails, walkways, cycleways and blueways.
In late 2019/early 2020 Waterford received a total of over €330,000 under ORIS which as well as funding this project in Abbeyside will also fund projects such as St. Declan’s Way, Anne Valley Walk, Dungarvan campervan parking Facilities, the Waterford Greenway Play and Amenity Trail, Lady Louisa’s Walk, Waterford Cycling Trails, EuroVelo 1 and an innovative project to promote Waterford’s wonderful trails and outdoor recreation opportunities.
Speaking at the opening of this new amenity Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. John Pratt said ‘I am thrilled to be here today to mark the end of the construction phase of this project which will benefit not only for the local community here in Abbeyside and Dungarvan but all those who visit Waterford Greenway from further afield.
Projects like these have always been important for our towns and villages in facilitating and encouraging people to get outdoors and active. However, now more than ever, as we as a society navigate our way through this unprecedented pandemic, amenities like this are crucial to the health and well being of our people and communities’.
Cllr. Pratt also went onto to compliment Waterford City and County Council, in particular the team from the Environment Section and the main project contractor Richard Forristal, RFL Ltd who completed the construction phase of the project on schedule, despite the challenging circumstances currently faced by all involved.
The Abbeyside Coastal Walk is just one example of the ongoing evolution of Waterford Greenway. Work is also currently underway on a similar spur linking the village of Kilmeaden to the Greenway at Waterford & Suir Valley Railway Station.
This project is being funded under the Town and Village Renewal scheme and is part of a government’s broader Rural Development Investment Programme which is funded under Project Ireland 2040. The roll out of these rural development schemes in recent years has greatly benefitted the outdoor recreation offering right across County Waterford.