By Carmel Hayes
FOREST trails in Laois have received a windfall of €67,000 for maintenance and improvements.
A total of 21 locations in the county will share the funding, which was announced today by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys.
The Laois grant is part of a new five-year strategic initiative with Coillte to boost forest trails and rural tourism, with €15m going to 260 recreational forests and 12 forest parks nationwide.
The funding will help develop outdoor recreation facilities that Coillte provides at the sites.
According to Minister Humphreys, the grants will see improvements to 3,000km of walking trails and cycleways across the country, in ‘a major boost’ to outdoor tourism and rural communities.
The Laois projects that will receive funding are:
Baunreagh, general maintenance of paths, pruning and hedge cutting – €3,500
Brittas, Clonaslee, maintenance to walking loop, picnic tables – €2,500
Capponellan, Durrow, maintenance to paths and some hedge-cutting – €3,000
Carrick Wood, Portarlington, general maintenance of paths, pruning of hedges – €3,000
Catholes, Rosenallis, trail maintenance – €2,000
Cullohill, trail maintenance – €2,000
Dunmore, Durrow, fallen tree removal, maintenance of paths – €5,000
Dysart Forest, Portlaoise, walking trail maintenance/upgrade – €3,000
Emo Court, dangerous trees to be removed and pruning required. Trail maintenance, erect threshold sign – €4,000
Garryhinch, potholes and bollards need attention in car park. Some dangerous trees need to be removed – €4,000
Glenbarrow, hedge cutting to carpark. Minor maintenance to trail. Picnic furniture repair/maintenance – €2,500
Kelliville, Stradbally, maintenance of paths – €2,500
Knockatrina (Leafy Loop), Durrow, pruning of hedges and general maintenance of trails – €2,000
Lacca, minor trail maintenance – €2,500
Monicknew, new sign, stake fencing required – €6,000
Oughaval, Stradbally, maintenance of walking loop, fencing and maintenance of wooden furniture – €6,000
Welcoming the funding, junior minister Pippa Hackett said: “We enjoy these trails but we shouldn’t take them for granted and today’s funding will help with necessary maintenance, ensuring we can continue to enjoy being outdoors in safety.”