Key role of LEADER and Rural Recreation Officer
Roscommon LEADER Partnership (also known as Roscommon Integrated Development Company) and its Rural Recreation Officer Ronan Bilbow are hard at work enhancing the current walking trails in the county, and supporting the delivery of new community trails across the region.
In September 2021, The Lung/Lough Gara Way was added to the national Walk Scheme. Under the scheme, funding is provided to farmers and other land owners to maintain the trails that travel through their holdings. The Walk Scheme aims to open up our countryside to local walkers, hikers and tourists.
Work on raising the standard and experience of the trail has been ongoing since the announcement and it is anticipated that the 38.2km of the 57km trail that traverses Co. Roscommon will be formally opened to the public later in the spring.
As well as routine development and maintenance, projects are also underway on our other waymarked trails in the county. €10,000 of funding received from the DRCD (Department of Rural and Community Development) as part of the Walk Scheme Development Fund is supporting a project on The Suck Valley Way. With the support of our fantastic RSS (Rural Social Scheme) supervisors and participants, upgrades are being carried out on sections of the trail throughout the county, including the improvement of underfoot conditions, bridges, and stiles.
The promotion of The Miners Way and Historical Trail is being enhanced with a marketing project being funded to the sum of €15,000 through the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme. This follows the completion of a key project on the trail in late 2021, when a pedestrian bridge was replaced after being damaged beyond repair in a storm. This project will showcase the trail and surrounding regions, and increase visitor numbers to the county.
The support of existing community trails and the development of new projects is an important part of the Rural Recreation Officer’s role. The community projects currently being supported throughout the county include the Portrun Clooncagh Link Walk (€6,479.07), the enhancement of the Tarmon Bog road walk (€20,000), repair/enhancement work to The Miners Way and Historical Trail (€16,727.40), and Granlahan Loops, Granlahan, Co. Roscommon (€8,280.36).
If you need guidance with the development of an existing or new walk/trail, please feel free to get in touch with your Rural Recreation Officer by emailing Ronan Bilbow at email@example.com, or calling 0867713550.