Popular Kilkenny walking trails get funding hike
Government funding has been allocated to two popular county Kilkenny walking trails.
Brandon Hill in Graiguenamanagh and the South Leinster Way are among 31 trails chosen for funding under the Government’s ‘Our Rural Future’ programme.
Under the scheme, which was announced by Rural Development Minister Heather Humphreys this week, funding is provided to farmers and other landowners to maintain the trails that travel through their holdings.
Minister Humphreys said: “Our walkways, trails, greenways, blueways and cycleways are a defining feature of Rural Ireland. They have been a godsend throughout the Covid-19 Pandemic – providing so many of us with the opportunity to get out for some exercise and to meet up with family and friends.
“Over the past number of months, we have seen unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by the most ambitious ever policy for Rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’.
“Today’s announcement is further action behind that policy. By adding 31 new trails to the Walks Scheme, we are opening up our rural countryside further to walkers, hikers, adventurists, cyclists, as well as domestic and international tourists.”
Welcoming the news, Kilkenny Mayor Andrew McGuinness said: “This is fantastic news for county Kilkenny and I’m delighted to welcome it this morning as it will be of great benefit both in a tourism sense and for recreation.
“The pandemic has shown us the importance of our outdoor recreation spaces and we have all become very familiar with our many walkways and trails so this funding comes at a great time.
“I want to thank Minister Humphreys for considering Kilkenny in this tranche of allocations and of course encourage her to keep Kilkenny high on her agenda. I look forward to seeing these projects come into fruition.
Kilkenny TD John McGuinness added: “We have seen a lot of funding provided for our outdoor spaces that will benefit both tourism and our own local recreational activities. All of these open spaces and walking trails provide huge benefit for our own physical and mental health but also to enhance our tourist offering and take advantage of the fantastic scenery and nature trails that we have.”