Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys has announced the addition of 31 new walking trails to her Department’s Walks Scheme which will bring the total number of trails to 80.

Farmers and landowners will receive funding to maintain the trails that travel through their land.

Minister Humphreys said: “We are indebted to our farmers and other landowners throughout the country that facilitate access to these wonderful trails and who now, through this scheme, are being funded to maintain the walks to the high standard we have all come to expect.”

Funding for a number of new rural recreation officers was also announced. The officers appointed will work to improve our existing outdoor amenities.

The 31 new trails across 13 counties are to be added to the Walk’s Scheme, which aims to open up our countryside to local walkers, hikers and tourists.

New trails

The trails added today involve over 400 farmers and include:

  • The Dingle Way in Co Kerry.
  • St Declan’s Way in Co Waterford.
  • The Ballyhoura Way in Co Limerick.
  • The South Leinster Way in Co Kilkenny.
  • The Slí Gaeltacht Mhuscraí in Co Cork.
  • The Cavan Way in Co Cavan, the Wicklow Uplands Way in Co Wicklow, the Lung/Lough Gara Way in Co Roscommon and the Durrow Leafy Loop in Co Sligo are among the trails to be added to the scheme.

    Reaping the benefits

    Additional funding will also be provided to the Local Development Companies that deliver the scheme locally, as well as for the salaries paid to the rural recreation officers who play a vital role in delivering the Walks Scheme and developing the outdoor recreation sector locally.

    Minister Humphreys added: “Our walkways, trails, greenways, blueways and cycleways are a defining feature of rural Ireland.

    “And it means we are investing in some of the most picturesque locations in the country, so that they can be enjoyed and experienced by millions of people every year.

    “As minister, I am committed to expanding the Walks Scheme so that more communities can reap the benefits," she concluded.