Fears famous peak being 'worn away'
Published 02/02/2014 | 02:30
Ireland's highest mountain is being worn away, experts believe. And now a new plan to manage public access and tackle erosion on Ireland's highest peak has been drawn up.
The MacGillycuddy's Reeks in Co Kerry is one of Ireland's most popular mountain walkways, with an average of 100,000 people visiting the land each year.
The Reeks, which includes Carrantuohill, is privately owned by 130 people. This has caused dispute in the past over who profits from tours offered in the area.
Following meetings last week with some of the landowners and local businesses that run tours along the mountains, a 15-person forum is to be established to monitor the permitted access routes on the mountain area.
The forum will consist of representatives from Failte Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Rural Recreation, a member of Kerry County Council, Mountaineering Ireland, Comhairle na Tuaithe, a member of the local community, a representative from the landowners and an independent chair.
One of the main issues raised at the meetings was from some landowners who wanted to receive a percentage of the profits local businesses make from giving tours on the land.
The Department of the Environment has commissioned a report that will advise the forum on an appropriate management structure to put in place in relation to erosion and land use.