New section of the Wicklow Way unveiled
A new section of the Wicklow Way has been officially opened in south Wicklow as the popular trail was re-routed to make it safer for users.
The community of Crossbridge gathered on Monday to attend the launch of the new section of the Wicklow Way, which saw part of the route removed from the R747, meaning that walkers and hikers are no longer required to cover a dangerous section of public road from Tinahely to Crossbridge.
The project was coordinated by County Wicklow Partnership (CWP), which manages the National 'Walk Scheme' for the county, and was supported by the Wicklow Way Partnership, the management body for the Wicklow Way which includes representatives from Coillte, CWP, Wicklow County Council, Dublin Mountain Partnership, Mountain Meitheal and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The majority of the work was constructed by the volunteer group Mountain Meitheal over the course of four weekends.
These volunteers undertake projects to protect and conserve mountain and forest areas in Ireland.
Their aim is to counteract the pressures which are evident on fragile landscapes by building and maintaining trails which are sympathetic to the surrounding countryside. Additional support was received by volunteers from Crossbridge, Wicklow County Council, and the Rural Social Scheme, operated by CWP.
Bryan Fennell, Rural Recreation Officer for CWP, said: 'Projects like these are a verification of a community's goodwill to visitors to their local area. This re-route was made possible by the kind permission of a private landowner, who has allowed us to re-route the Wicklow Way through their lands. This was a result of positive and active engagement with the landowner from the local community group. This new section of the Wicklow Way will help prevent a fatal injury by removing the need for walkers to traverse around a very dangerous bend'.
Mr Fennell acknowledged the tremendous work by Mountain Meitheal and expressed thanks to the goodwill of all private landowners currently providing recreational access through their lands for hillwalkers in Co Wicklow.