2,000 farmers could benefit from National Walks Scheme - Minister Ring

Hill-walking and mountain climbing are amongst the biggest outdoor activities in the country, with the number of dedicated visitors to the sport having risen from 168,000 in 2003 to 2.3 million in 2017.
Hill-walking and mountain climbing are amongst the biggest outdoor activities in the country, with the number of dedicated visitors to the sport having risen from 168,000 in 2003 to 2.3 million in 2017.
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

The National Walks Scheme has opened to applicants, which could benefit up to 2,000 farmers.

The scheme, which is administered by the Department of Rural and Community Development, assists in the provision of high quality walking trails by private landholders, by contracting them, or their nominees, to undertake maintenance work on sections of National Waymarked Ways and other priority walks that traverse their lands.

The Department of Rural and Community Development is now inviting expressions of interest from trail management committees, community groups and other similar entities for developed trails to be added to the Department’s Walks Scheme over the coming months.

Expressions of interest will only be accepted from Local Authorities and/or Local Development Companies and interested groups should make contact with these bodies to commence the process.

IFA President Joe Healy welcomed the opening up of applications for the National Walks Scheme, which will double the number of national walks and benefit up to 2,000 farmers.

The scheme currently covers 39 trails, with payments made to approximately 1,900 landholders to maintain those trails.

The Walks Scheme was launched in March 2008 and has since been rolled out to cover 39 trails. 

Minister Ring also confirmed tge labour rate for farmers own work in maintaining the walks will increase from €12.50/hr to €13.50/hr. This will also apply to both existing participants and new participants, including farmers who may be in the middle of their current contracts.

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