With recreational footfall across the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands continuing to grow, the impact to the area’s network of upland paths is being professionally surveyed to inform decisions on sustainable recreational use.
Aside from managed trails such as the Wicklow Way, there is an extensive network of informal paths that criss-cross the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands, connecting routes, peaks and popular points of interest for hikers and walkers. Evolved through common usage over the decades, the impact of the ever-increasing footfall on these paths contribute to soil erosion and the loss of vegetation and sensitive habitats. Often scarring the landscape, the paths frequently cross fragile peat soil, leading to a loss of carbon and water runoff that affects the water quality of upland streams.
To establish an accurate understanding of the current path conditions, Wicklow Uplands Council, Wicklow Mountains National Park (NPWS) and a host of project partners that includes Coillte, County Wicklow Partnership/Rural Recreation Officer, Mountaineering Ireland, Mountain Meitheal and Wicklow County Council, commissioned a specialist survey to investigate further and to explore possible solutions to ensure that these areas are sustainably managed for future generations.
With funding received through the LEADER Programme, an extensive survey of over 160km of many of the popular upland paths located throughout the region, was recently completed by expert path surveyors ‘Walking the Talk’ with the Final report to be made publicly available soon.
‘The Condition Of Upland Paths In The Wicklow Mountains’ Event
To discuss and share details found in its final report, a special online event will take place at 3pm on Wednesday the 28th of September, 2022.
Led by Chris York of ‘Walking the Talk’, the online event that includes a Q & A session on the findings of the survey, will offer a great insight into how to potentially address the damaged areas, minimize future erosion and sustainably manage recreational usage into the future.
Given the importance of the Wicklow and Dublin Uplands as an invaluable natural resource for recreational activities, fresh water, conservation efforts and climate mitigation measures, both the event and upcoming release of the final report, are expected to generate considerable interest from a wide-reaching audience.
To attend the event, advance registration is required by visiting https://bit.ly/3SqjvAA
The Upland Path Condition Survey Project has been part funded by the EU through the LEADER/Rural Development Programme – (RDP) 2014-2020