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Online event organized to discuss Wicklow’s upland paths

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FOLLOWING the completion of an extensive survey focused on the current condition of many of county Wicklow’s upland paths, a special online event has been organized to discuss and share details found in its final report.

aside from managed trails, there is quite a sizable network of informal paths that criss-cross the 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 significantly to soil erosion and the loss of vegetation and sensitive habitats. Water runoff from these paths, that often cross fragile peat soils, also leads to water quality issues to upland streams – an invaluable source of Wicklow and Dublin fresh water needs.

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, Mountain Meitheal and Mountaineering Ireland, 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 upland paths located throughout the region, was recently completed by expert path surveyors ‘Walking the Talk’.

With biodiversity and landscape preservation, along with sustainable recreational enjoyment in mind, a public event led by Chris York of ‘Walking the Talk’ will be streamed online at 3 pm on Wednesday, September 28.

The afternoon event that includes a Q & A session on the findings of the survey, offers 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 release of the final report, will certainly be of interest to a wide range of parties.

Future information, including advance registration details to join the event, are available on the Wicklow Uplands Council website, www.wicklowuplands.ie or by email, [email protected]

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