Community Trails in the Mournes and Slieve Croob

The Challenge

To establish a strategic plan for the development of community trails in both The Mournes and Slieve Croob DEAs.

 

The Role

‘Community trails’ connect local people from their doorstep to their local outdoor, green spaces and to neighbouring villages/communities.

We were commissioned by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council to map the current system of community trails in each DEA and identify potential trails for development aligning to local need and demand.

In order to carry out this study we:

  • Undertook extensive desktop research to identify current provision
  • Actively engaged and consulted with a range of stakeholders including Access Officers, DEA’s Forums, local community groups, user groups and clubs
  • Organised and hosted three public drop-in sessions across both DEA’s
  • Undertook detailed GIS mapping to spatially illustrate the current and potential future provision of community trails
  • Strategically analysed our findings
  • Produced a report and presentation for Council

 

 

The Results

A report to aid and inform the strategic planning and development of a community trail network which serves the needs of the local communities in each DEA, incorporating –

  • An evaluation of all routes (both current and future) to identify those which meet the standard for community trails
  • Identification of gaps and issues/constraints to development
  • New opportunities for development, including prioritised recommendations
  • Next steps for progressing the study to Stage 2