Six popular local walking trails have been granted almost €100,000 to upgrade their facilities.

Local Fine Gael TD Joe Carey confirmed that six Clare projects will receive a total of €95,715 under Measure 1 of the Government’s Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme.

Welcoming the funding from the Department of Rural & Community Development Deputy Carey said: “This stream of funding is aimed at small-scale maintenance, promotion and marketing of projects with a maximum grant of €20,000. I’m delighted that five Clare popular walking trails have been successful including 12 O’ Clock Hills, the Cliffs of Moher Coastal walk at Liscannor and Doolin, Shannon Loop’s Yellow Route and Dysart O’Dea Archaeology Trail.

“Funding of €7,465 has also been granted for a Tick Born Disease Awareness Project along the Burren Trail. This type of funding is vital to keep walking trails maintained and will be put to very good use.”

The local projects that will benefit from the funding include:
*12 O’Clock Hills, Belvoir Sixmilebridge: €18,189 for upgrade, enhancement and promotion works;
*Cliff of Moher Coastal Walk, Upgrade South, Liscannor: €19,438 for upgrade works to remove uneven steps, construct new flagstone steps, install a new handrail and reinstate a flagstone wall, pathway and stair landings on the approach to the steps;
*Cliff of Moher Coastal Walk, Doolin Trail upgrade: €19,933 for improvement works to two sets of steps along the scenic coastal walk;
*Shannon Loop Yellow Route (Estuary): €14,400 for new bicycle racks, benches, information and interpretation boards within Estuary Walkway;
*Dysart O’Dea Archaeology Trail: €16,290 for upgrade work to Medieval Road, carpark, the addition of new seating, replacement of signs, development of Fairy Trail and development of a new brochure and website.
*Tick Born Disease Awareness Project, Burren Trails: €7,465 to promote awareness of diseases spread by ticks with creation of new posters, trail marker posts with interactive panels and dispenser for ‘tick cards’ (to remove ticks).

Deputy Carey added: “This funding injection is most timely. Walking trails have become really popular and play a vital role in promoting healthy active lifestyles. It’s important the Government continues to invest in walking trails as these rich resources in our communities have the potential to unlock economic and tourism benefits. I’m very much looking forward to further funding being delivered under Measure 2 and Measure 3 of the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme in the months ahead.”