Mayo Towns Blaze A Trail In Development of Community Greenways

August 10, 2017

Mayo Towns are showing the way in the development of community greenways. Castlebar and Claremorris now have two excellent facilities which are being widely used by local communities and visitors.

The development of such Community Greenways is best facilitated by identifying attractive local areas of natural beauty such as lakes, woods or rivers which can be adapted for use, as in the case of Lough Lannagh in Castlebar or of Clare Lake in Claremorris, developed with the support of Mayo County Council.

Pictured: View of Clare Lake from Greenway

The Claremorris development is a state of the art community-developed Greenway, ‘Mac Mahon Park – Land of the Giants’, featuring a 5.5 Km walking and cycling loop including Clare Lake and a large forest area, which is also used for sporting events such as running and cycle races. A Claremorris ‘parkrun’ takes place every Saturday at 9:30am. (See Claremorris Park Run Website.)

A children’s feature ‘The Land of the Giants’ has been built into the forest section. The lakeside in a wooded setting features sculpture, seating, bridges, a gazebo and much wildlife, including ducks, geese and butterflies. Boating and fishing facilities are provided and a fully-equipped children’s playground has also been developed at the entrance. More than 2,000 people now use the facility every week. The latest addition is a multi-use gaming area with an astro-turf facility, basketball and goal posts.

Pictured: A fun scene at Mac Mahon Park

The project has been developed over time by a number of community groups with assistance from Mayo Co. Council. A further 2.5 Km is now to be added taking in another local lake, again with the support of the Co. Council.

While the park is located in the vicinity of the Mayo-Galway railway line there is NO interference of any kind with the rail infrastructure.

Pictured: Walking and Cycling trail at Claremorris Greenway

The Lough Lannnagh greenway at Castlebar is a 10km trail offering a pleasant mix of countryside, including fields, riverside woodlands, small sections of quiet country back roads and urban settings. The Greenway forms part of the National Cycle Network which is currently being developed throughout Ireland. This facility is designed for shared use for leisure walkers, joggers and cyclists.
Funding of €725,000 was made available from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport under the National Cycle Network Programme to develop the Greenway from Springfield, Castlebar to the National Museum and Mayo County Council also provided match funding to the same amount for the urban section of Greenway from Lough Lannagh – Springfield.
The route is mainly traffic-free and off- road with a solid surface, consisting of both tarred and compacted gravel. The Greenway was designed and developed by Mayo County Council by way of Permissive Access in partnership with 28 local landowners.

Pictured: Bridge to the Greenway at Lough Lannagh, Castlebar

These models offer an exciting template for similar towns seeking to develop community greenways, leaving important regional infrastructure such as railways protected for future development.

Pictured: Family stroll at Lough Lannagh Greenway.


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