Rediscovering the lost rural Tracks ‘n’ Trails of Galway city
With strong community campaigns being undertaken in Connemara, Tuam and Athenry to convert old disused railway lines into Greenways, there is now a corresponding grassroots movement in Galway city who want to transform an almost forgotten series of old country lanes or boreens into a network of safe walking and sometimes cycling routes that supporters believe will bring enormous health, educational, environmental, biodiversity, social, economic and tourist benefits.
To increase public awareness and use of these ancient trails, they are asking people of all ages to join them on a ‘Walk of the Boreens’ that will start at the ‘Plots’ sport pitch on the Woodquay end of Dyke Road at 9am on Sunday September 30th as part of National Walking Day and ‘Loving Galway – celebrating our Green and Blue Spaces’ festival. It is being co-organised with the ‘Healthy Ireland at your Library’ initiative.
The route will primarily be along laneways and riverbanks stretching from Terryland via Coolough to Menlo.
According to spokesperson Brendan Smith, “With the increasing urbanisation of the world as populations move in ever-expanding numbers into cities, there is now a growing realisation by the medical, teaching and scientific professions as well by policy makers and local communities that humanity’s growing disconnect with the rest of Nature is causing serious long-term damage to individuals and to societies.
“Supported by Mayor Sadiq Khan and an umbrella movement comprising politicians of all hues, teachers, scientists, environmentalists, businesses and communities, London has led the way in ‘bringing the jungle’ back into the lives of city dwellers by working towards achieving ‘National Park City’ status. Through a combination of nature reserves, parks, woodlands, gardens, wetlands, waterways and roadside verges it is now recognised that approximately 49.8% of the English capital can be defined as ‘green’ and ‘blue’. With a human population of over 8 millions, there is also an estimated 15,000 species of flora and fauna living in this huge built metropolis.
We want Galway to follow the lead of London and work to lay the groundwork for a ‘National Park City’ status as part of Galway City of Culture 2020. Mayor Neil McNelis expressed broad support for our campaign when he recently met with our delegation that included Daniel Raven Ellison, who initiated the London proposal in 2015. Investment is of course required from City Hall and from government if this goal is to be achieved. But the benefits are huge at so many levels. We also have the added advantage that Galway has one of the most traditional rural landscapes of any city in Europe, something that most citizens are not aware off.
So we want people of all ages to join us on Sunday September 30th as we undertake an exciting city journey along country lanes that pass by or through the wetlands of the River Corrib, the woods of Terryland Forest Park, the karst limestone outcrops of Crestwood, the hedgerows of Coolough, the waterways of Menlo and the farmlands of Castlegar.
Participants should wear suitable weather/ramblers clothing/footware and bring along packed lunch and water
For further information contact Brendan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.