Step in the right directions: Two Kilkenny routes included in new walks scheme
Kilkenny tourism and landowners have both been given a boost with the news that two scenic rambles have been included in the State’s expanded Walks Scheme.
Local TD and Government minister John Paul Phelan has confirmed that the Gathabawn Loop Walk and Kilmacoliver Loop Walk have been included in the first phase of the expanded Walks Scheme developed by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
The scheme currently covers 39 trails, involving 1,962 landowners and farmers nationwide.
Minister Phelan said the inclusion of two Kilkenny loop walks in the expanded Walks Scheme will be a real boost for Kilkenny tourism.
“The inclusion of Gathabawn Loop Walk and Kilmacoliver Loop Walk in the first phase of the expanded Walks Scheme is good news for local land-owners and hikers, and will be a real boost to tourism in our area,” Minister Phelan said.
“The Walks Scheme currently covers 39 trails, involving 1,962 participant landowners and farmers and it is operated by the Department of Rural and Community Development.
“The Gathabawn Loop Walk covers 2km and includes four landowners. The Kilmacoliver one includes three landowners and spans 3km.
“The Scheme contracts the landowners and farmers, or their nominees, to undertake maintenance work on sections of National Waymarked Ways and other priority walks that traverse their lands. The Scheme is administered at a local level by Local Development Companies.
“Walking tourism has huge potential and can deliver real dividends to local hotels, BBs, restaurants, pubs and shops. Last year alone, almost 2.7 million overseas visitors to Ireland engaged in some form of cross-country walking or hiking. One in four of people doing a ‘staycation’ here in Ireland included walking or hiking as part of their holiday.
“The inclusion of these two loop walks in this scheme is great news for local tourism and economic development.”