Outdoor Recreation Trails Masterplan for the Ballyhoura Region

Ballyhoura Trails from aerial view

Client: Ballyhoura CLG

The Challenge

Trails across the Ballyhoura region provide a recreational experience for thousands of people annually. The trails are a significant driver of local social, environmental, and economic activity and contribute positively to the physical, mental, and spiritual health and well-being of residents and visitors. The areas natural, cultural, and built heritage environment underpin these health, social and economic benefits. 

Recreational trail use has increased significantly over recent years fuelled by population growth, access and trail improvements, healthy lifestyles, access to affordable clothing and technology, and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. Increased levels of use create new opportunities but also highlights challenges, including those related to trailhead access, parking and amenities, trail maintenance, natural areas protection, biodiversity, and wildlife conflicts and more. 

The Masterplan will provide a 15-year framework to guide strategic investment and development of non-motorised, motorised and water based recreational routes with appropriate amenities, services and infrastructure aligning with national, regional, and local community strategies. 

The Role

Outscape have been appointed to develop an Outdoor Recreation Trails Masterplan for the Ballyhoura region through establishing a shared vision and objectives, opportunity identification through consultation and fieldwork, leading to development of a trails masterplan and prioritisation framework. An implementation plan with clear recommendations will be developed which considers the life cycle cost of building and maintaining these trails. 

Staff Leads: Claire McLernon and Karen Coulter