Wexford Walking Trail is a network of voluntary groups from across County Wexford who have come together to create, maintain and improve walking trails in their locality. It has been a very busy time for the network with significant growth in the number of trails and groups in the network and a welcome increase in the number of people using walking trails. Here’s a little of what we have been up to ……
In October 2020 Wexford Walking Trail network group became a registered company limited by guarantee (clg). The company has 31 local voluntary groups with the primary aim of developing and maintaining 88 individual recreational trails around the County Wexford, 7 of which are currently being developed and 2 (Ferns and Raven Point) are Associate Members of WWT.
The company has three types of members; full, development and associate members. All members are supported equally by the network company by providing advice and funding to develop and maintain their trails to the minimum standards set by Sports Ireland.
In 2022 Wexford Walking Trail CLG received an allocation of €40,000 from Wexford County Council to undertake necessary maintenance tasks to keep the 88 trails up to the minimum standard set by Sports Ireland.
Works Carried Out During 2022
Below are a sample of some of the works carried out on the trails in 2022 by our volunteer groups in partnership with Wexford County Council and Coillte.
Storms and heavy rain early in the year caused much damage across our trails.
In April, repairs were carried out on the footbridge due to flood damage as well as resurfacing of some of the path along St.Clomaun’s Way, Duncormick.
In October works took place on the Curragh Trail in Kilanerin: A footbridge that had been repeatedly damaged by flooding was replaced with a precast culvert and rock armour. These works were jointly funded by ORIS & Coillte.
Coastal erosion is a constant battle along our coastal paths. In March and November, side fencing was installed due to slope slippage along the Rosslare Cliff T0p Walk. Along the Cahore Point Trail some fencing was reinforced to strengthen post support due side slippage. In May, the rope fence around summer car park was re-hung with gravel filling laid at the entrance
In April, extensive path widening and re-surfacing works took place along a kilomotre of the Red Trail due to trip and slip hazards that had been previously identified.
In January it was all hands on deck in Hollyfort where the local group installed a car park height barrier. The project was funded under ORIS and supported with voluntary labour. In February, additional waymarker posts were installed alon Craan Loop Trail in Bunclody.
In January timber deck plates were replaced with non-slip surface covering on the Urrin Footbridge on the Enniscorthy Riverside Trail. In March the rear car park at the Oaklands Trail in Kellys Wood was extended by Coillte. In May at Sandy Cove in Ballymoney, the trail ramp and handrail were extended. The ramp was re-built with a shallower gradient due to health and safety concerns.
Repairse were carried out to replace broken planks on bridges and walk ways in St Helen’s, Coutrown and Kiltennel as well as repairs to vandalims on the steps of the Urrin footbridge on Enniscorthy Riverside Trail.
Other works carried out inlcuded the removal of a bank of seaweed from the base of the steps in Arthurstown, replacing trailhead signs at various locations and felling leaning trees among a myriad of other tasks completed by the volunteer groups to maintain their local trails.
The work continues in 2023. Currently, hedge cutting and trimming of trails by Wexford County Council is taking place ahead of the cut off date of end of February in order to comply with legislation around ‘protecting nature’.
Regular Sport Ireland Inspections have been carried out across the County and various improvements/upgrades that were recommended have been implemented.
What is Sport ireland’s involvement with Wexford Walking Trails?
Sport Ireland provide public liability insurance for all accredited trails and can indemnity voluntary groups to cover liabilities arising out of development, maintenance, monitoring and overall upkeep of recreational trails. Sport Ireland require regular monitoring of accredited trails, this monitoring involves records of maintenance required and completed and Sports Ireland undertake audits of voluntary groups to confirm that due maintenance is achieved.
Wexford Walking Trails clg collate monitoring reports and maintenance records for all Member Trails and Development Member Trails.
Maintenance Reports are recorded twice yearly. Once the initial Monitoring and Maintenance Reports have been submitted, twice yearly updates are required in line with Sport Ireland guidelines. These updates record work that has been completed and also outstanding issues that still need attention. The latter form the basis of the coming years Maintenance Schedule as provided to Wexford County Council. The majority of outstanding work can be completed by the various Community Groups and their volunteers. However, in some cases, these maintenance issues/ repair works are more extensive and critical to the health and safety of walkers and require the work to be carried out by contractors.
Note: Wexford Walking Trails do not supervise non-member walking trails.
If you would like to find out more about our network or have a query about trail development in your community, please do not hesitate to contact us.