Six projects in Co. Waterford received almost €110,000 in funding under the scheme with four successful applications submitted by Waterford City and County Council and two by Waterford Leader Partnership. Mayor of Waterford City and County Council, Cllr. Damien Geoghegan welcomed the announcement of funding saying, “investment in upgrading and maintaining trails and outdoor recreational amenities like these has become more important than ever. Throughout 2020 we saw that people really seized the opportunity to get out in the open air at one of the many outdoor amenities spread right across the county. Taking our daily exercise has now become a vital part of daily life as we navigate our way through this pandemic. It is vitally important that the Local Authority and communities are enabled to maintain our favourite walking and cycling routes and other amenities which allow people to enjoy these facilities at their very best. Well done to all involved with the funding applications and we all look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour this year”.
The following projects were successful in securing funding under Measure 1, Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme 2020:
The Towers Walk, Ballysaggartmore: This charming, woodland walk can be found about 3.5km outside of Lismore on the Ballyduff Road. It is an ideal location for a pleasant walk and picnic at any time of year. The funding allocated will allow Waterford City and County Council carry out necessary maintenance works along the trail and at the imposing gothic gate lodges which date back to the 1850’s.
The Boolas Loop Walk and Nire Valley Walks: The Comeraghs have attracted hikers and hill walkers for many years now. There are networks of marked walking trails near Rathgormack and the Nire Valley, with a number of Fáilte Ireland National Looped Walks at both locations. The funding allocated here will allow repair works required to some of the trails.
Abbeyside Coastal Walk: Phase 1 of the Abbeyside Coastal Walk was funded under this scheme in 2019. Phase 2 will allow for a further enhancement and extension of this trail which has attracted many users since the walkway was opened in summer 2020.
Waterford Leader Partnership was also successful in being allocated funding for two projects under the funding scheme, one of which is Mount Melleray Monastery Walks. Three looped walks are located on the grounds of the Historic Mount Melleray Abbey. The Abbey is nearly at the halfway point on St. Declan’s Way, and these looped walks will provide either a gentle break for walkers and pilgrims to survey the Knockmealdowns on the pilgrim walk to Ardmore, or a pleasant walk for day visitors to the Café at the Monastery. Mount Melleray Monastery Walks will provide upgrades to: The Well Walk, 2.5 Kms, the Cross Walk 4.1 Kms and the Source Walk, 9.1 Kms. Works will involve an upgrading of the walks to meet NTO standards. Mount Melleray Abbey is in the process of completing its new Tourist Hostel to facilitate walkers on St. Declan’s Way. Nearly €400,000 is being invested in the new Tourism Facility, which is part funded by LEADER.