Helping the Hills.
The growth in the popularity of hillwalking and other outdoor recreation activities is having an impact on Ireland’s upland environment. Once-faint paths have evolved into worn and muddy lines, with the worst damage on blanket peat and steep ground. Concern that we respond appropriately prompted Mountaineering Ireland to organise Helping the Hills, Ireland’s first upland path conference held in Co. Wicklow during September 2012. A report of the conference and presentations are available here
To help ensure a consistent, sympathetic and quality approach, draft principles to guide the management of upland paths were presented in the closing session of the Helping the Hills conference. Following consultation throughout 2013, a set of principles was published in March 2014
Helping the Hills is an ongoing initiative. In September 2013 there was a site visit to the Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales to learn from erosion control and recreation management experience in those areas.
Learnings from the study visit were shared with a wider audience through a one-day seminar in November 2013. Watch the keynote address from the seminar and download presentations here
It is hoped that Helping the Hills will evolve to become a network of people and organisations sharing experience and knowledge in the use, management, funding and repair of upland paths.