Great news for those who love to ride (horses).
The Beara Bridle Way, Ireland’s first equestrian trail, is set to be extended as part of a €700,00 funding scheme for three outdoor amenities in Cork.
The plan is for the trail to be “extended from Urhan to Ardgroom following old tracks and woodland. Parking for horse boxes is available in the village of Ardgroom and riders can leave their horses in a field across from a shop and restaurants. The new section will also complete a loop in Teernahillane between Castletownbere and Allihies.”
Money will also go towards the Barnane Trail Walk and Glenabo Trail as part of the Blackwater Way.
A 2.2km coastal walk in Little Island will also be upgraded to provide a safe walking route for local residents and employees from nearby companies. A two-metre-wide path will be created along the length of the Carrigrenan Amenity Walkway, overlooking Cork Harbour. Additional parking will be provided along with benches, lifebelts and signage.
90% of the funding is coming from the Department of Rural and Community Development.
Mayor of the County of Cork Gillian Coughland said: “I’m delighted that four fantastic projects across County Cork have been chosen. The Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme aims to make rural Ireland a more attractive destination for adventure tourism and that’s what we want to achieve. We want visitors to County Cork to stay longer but we also want to provide the very best amenities for our local communities.
“The first phase of the Beara Bridle Way opened during 2020 and is attracting visitors all year round while the next phase will add 14km and there are long-term plans to create a trail that would take four days to ride. I know that enhancing the walks along the Blackwater River and overlooking Cork Harbour at Little Island will mean that the routes can be enjoyed by even more people.”
Another welcome bit of news is that €50,000 will go towards a study of how Cork beaches can be made more accessible to those with disabilities. The beaches in question include Barleycove, Owenahincha, Inchydoney, Garrylucas and Garretstown beaches.
CEO of Cork County Council Tim Lucey said: “The inclusion of projects that are at an early stage of development is very welcome. The funding will allow us to establish how disabled access and services can be improved at five Blue Flag beaches in West Cork.
“The results gathered in West Cork will help us to improve access for all at other beaches countywide in the future. Over the past two-years, outdoor activities like walking, hiking, swimming and horse riding have become a bigger part of all our lives. We want to ensure that our beaches, walkways and other amenities are as accessible as possible to everyone who wants to use them.”