Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Wednesday, 10th August) announced funding of almost €1 million to support and improve some 446 walking trails across the country.
Under the initiative, grants of €1,000 - €3,000 will be provided to 175 community groups responsible for managing the trails throughout rural Ireland.
The groups will be able to use the grant to maintain and improve their local trail and promote its use to visitors.
Among the trails that are subject to the grant funding include:
- The East Clare Way in Co. Clare
- Beara Way in Co. Cork and Kerry
- Leitrim Way in Co. Leitrim
- Land of the Giants in Co. Mayo
- The Blessington Greenway in Co. Wicklow
- Bluestack Way in Co. Donegal
The 175 groups to receive the funding are known as Community Trail Management Organisations.
They are registered with Sport Ireland and work in partnership with the local authority, Coillte and the Local Development Company (LDC) in maintaining their local trails.
Announcing the funding today, Minister Humphreys said:
“Our walkways, trails and greenways are an integral feature of Rural Ireland.
“They have been a godsend to us all, particularly during COVID-19, in terms of supporting our physical and mental wellbeing.
“This new initiative that I am announcing today is all about keeping these trails in top condition and supporting their use by both domestic and international visitors.
“So, it might be a case of using the grant to purchase a strimmer in order to maintain the local trail.
“Or a community group may decide to build a new website to promote their trail to a wider audience.
“The grants that I am announcing today range from €1,000 to €3,000 and are being provided to 175 community groups that are tasked with managing the trails in partnership with their local authority, Coillte and Local Development Company.”
The Minister continued:
“I am delighted to announce this funding for Community groups today and to continue the unprecedented investment in our outdoor amenities, underpinned by the most ambitious ever policy for Rural Ireland, ‘Our Rural Future’.
“A National Outdoor Recreation Strategy is currently being developed by my Department in conjunction with Comhairle na Tuaithe. The Strategy, which is due to be launched shortly, will provide a long term vision for the growth and development of outdoor recreation in Ireland.
“This once off grant funding is in keeping with the objectives of the strategy by supporting local stakeholders to maintain and develop outdoor recreation facilities such as these registered walking trails.”
Minister Humphreys concluded:
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Community groups, the landowners and everyone else involved in the development and maintenance of these outdoor recreation facilities for their all hard work and commitment to their community.”
The list of trails that are eligible to apply for grant funding can be found here
The Department of Rural and Community Development Press Office
01-7736843 / 087-1734633
Notes for Editors:
Grant funding is being made available on a once off basis for Community Trail Management Organisation who are listed on the Sport Ireland Trails Register only.
There are eligible trails in all counties with the exception of Kildare, Meath and Monaghan. In these counties the registered walking trails are supported by the Local Authority.
An application form will issue to all eligible Community Trail Management Organisations via Sport Ireland. Any trail which is not on the list but is a registered Sport Ireland trail can contact firstname.lastname@example.org to clarify.
100% grant funding is being provided. There are 3 levels of grant funding available based on the length of the registered trail. Grant funding of €1,000 is available for trails less than 5km, €2,800 for trails between 5km and under 20km and €3,000 for trails over 20km.
The grant funding may be used towards to the cost of purchasing equipment, small scale maintenance and/or marketing/promotion of the registered trail. Own labour costs will not be eligible under the Scheme.
Table 1: County by County Funding
Estimated Eligible Grant Amount
* Some trails span a number of counties. For the purpose of county allocations the indicative grant allocation for these trails have been apportioned across the relevant counties
Table 2: Number of Eligible Trails per County*
Number of Trails
* Some trails span a number of counties
The estimated number of eligible trails under the grant scheme is as follows:
No. of Trails
Eligible Grant Amount
Less than 5km
5km to under 20km