The latest to benefit from the Alpkit Foundation is The Burren Way Ltd. The Burren Way is a 114 km walking trail through County Clare, Ireland. The trail is managed by a volunteer committee, and is maintained by landowners, volunteers and government subsidised scheme workers. The scheme workers are often from low income households, and are committed and passionate about repairing and caring for the trails. This ongoing maintenance is a challenge, given the high footfall on certain sections, and the Atlantic storms that often roll through.
Eoin explains the importance of the trail. “ I work as the Rural Recreation Officer for County Clare. I manage all the outdoor recreation in the county including three long distance walks, 22 looped walks and number of on-road cycle trails. I am passionate about the outdoors and making them accessible to all members of the public. The trails I manage allow the public to access the outdoors in a safe and controlled manner and will foster the next generations love of the outdoors. The Burren Way Ltd and Clare Local Development Company are registered charities and funding is always a challenge. It is possible to get funds for actual trail maintenance (gravel, bridges etc) but not possible to get anything to give back to the workers on the trail.”
Eoin would like to provide the government scheme workers with warm clothing, to see them through the worst of the weather. Local residents, their families and visitors to the county will also benefit from the project. The trails are heavily used, and provide safe places for children to play, learn and discover.