Funding boost for local forest parks

There have been calls for upgrades in some forests.

Funding of over €300,000 has been announced for local forest parks.

More than half - €200,000 - is going to Deerpark in Virginia where a new access point and car park are to be built. It will also provide alternative access to the Virginia Rugby Club.

€6,000 will also be spent on general maintenance of trails in Deerpark, including applying gravel to weaker spots, the picking of litter and installation of new signage.

The announcement, from the Department of Rural and Community Development, sees funding allocated to 10 local forest parks.

Upgraded toilet facilities are planned for Killykeen Forest in Killeshandra, with €49,000 going towards that project.

Another €26,000 will be spent on maintenance in Killykeen, including repairs to the road and the fixing of potholes in the main car park. The upgrading of maps and other works are also going to take place.

Smaller works are also planned for a number of other local parks.

The largest allocation under this strand of funding goes to Dún an Rí Forest Park outside Kingscourt, where €21,000 will be spent on gravel for trails, updated maps and boards and new trail markers. Cutting of grass and the collecting of litter will also be carried out.

€4,000 will go towards maintenance and the cutting back of dangerous trees in Bailieborough, with €2,000 being spent in Bawnboy, the Burren Park, Castletara and Senator Billy Fox Memorial Park in Latton.

€15 million is being spent as part of the initiative, run in conjunction with Coillte.

Announcing the funding this morning, Minister Humphreys said:

“Our forest parks, walking and upland areas are what makes Rural Ireland stand out. Right across the country, people of all ages reap the benefits of these unique natural amenities on a daily basis.

“I’m really pleased today to make this €15 million announcement, which involves a substantial investment of €314,000 for our facilities in Cavan.”