The MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountains are finally having impressive and long overdue works carried to some of its most popular and eroded paths and trails after the Reeks Access Forum were successful with an application for funding under the REDZ (Rural Economic Development Zone) pilot project from CEDRA (Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas) through the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government.
The forum applied for the much needed funding to develop a locally based skilled workforce in upland trail repair which could then repair and improve the badly damaged upland trails as part of a capital works program in the MacGillycuddy Reeks.
This specialist training has been taking place ‘on site’ over the last few months. Trisha Deane, Rural Recreation Officer with South Kerry Development Partnership is delighted with the news saying – ‘The possible benefits of this kind of project are huge, with potential to develop employment- local, long term and sustainable, as well as the opportunity to address the environmental concerns – erosion, habitat loss etc’. ‘The better-quality recreational product in terms of an improved experience due to repairs should lead to enhanced local tourism potential, with the work obviously being needed now rather than later’ she added.
Developing an upland trail repair & maintenance enterprise particularly when the skills are not available in Ireland at present with all partners involved & participating can only be a have positive outcome of this project. Over the wild stormy winter days, our very own – Piaras, lead guide and director of KerryClimbing.ie has been hugely proud to be one of those small team of locals learning these new skills and working on these long overdue path improvements which will be a benefit to these magnificent mountains for many years to come. Over the course of all our guided ascents our clients are informed fully of the important issues on the ground regarding the Reeks Access Forum and the fantastic work they do, are told all about the recent path works and the positive plans for the future of the Ireland’s premier mountain range.
Exciting times ahead-check in here for updates!