MacGillicuddy Reeks Path Erosion Meeting
The need to combat path erosion, and to repair and maintain the paths on the Reeks is one of the priorities of the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum. Securing resources and adaquate funding from stakeholders is essential to implement remedial actions in the short, medium and long term. The Forum is considering all possible sources of self-sustaining revenue generating options in order to implement priority actions. Hill walking, moumtaineering and climbing clubs are encouraged to support this project.
There is agreement in the Forum that path erosion and trail migration (where people walk beside or outside the path, resulting in extra damage, and wear and tear to the ground- cover vegetation) in the Reeks requires urgent attention. The Forum will also have to be able to raise matching funding in order to draw down grants in the future.
Footfall erosion damages protected habitats and species, water quality, agriculture, public safety; it lessens the ‘user experience’ as a recreation and tourism product, and adversely impacts on the visual amenity and landscape character of this unique resource. In the last few years, the deterioration of the Devils Ladder and other popular routes has been well documented, both in the local and national press. Increased pressure due to outdoor activities, recreational tourism and charity ‘challenge’ type events, as well as more dramatic weather patterns in recent years have all contributed to this erosion.
An audit of the upland paths, combined with a remedial plan and indicative costings took place in March 2015. This work was carried out by the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust.
Presentation on Path Repair in the MacGillycuddy Reeks
On Monday the 14th of March, a meeting will be held in Killarney to discuss progress so far. the meeting will be hosted by Mountaineering Ireland in conjunction with the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum. Mr. Dougie Baird from the Cairngorm Outdoor Access Trust will outline the repair work proposed for the Devil’s Ladder, O’Shea’s Gully, Caher and the path up to the Hag’s Glen to the Ladder.
Patricia Deane, Rural Recreation Officer with South Kerry Development Partnership will also make a short presentation on the recent work of the MacGillycuddy Reeks Mountain Access Forum. The Forum has recently arranged intensive training for local landowners/people in path repair skills and the first work carried out by the team can be seen below where the Cronin’s Yard path meets the track in from Lisleibane.
The venue for the meeting on Monday 14th March is the Lower Lake Room in the Malton Hotel (opposite the railway station), tea and coffee from 7.30pm, starting 8pm sharp. All hill walking and mountaineering clubs with an interest in the Reeks are welcome to attend, we’re particularly keen to have representatives from as many Munster-based clubs as possible. Please spread the word within your club and to others who may be interested.