Thirteen years after they were originally developed, the Mullaghareirk Walking Trails are to undergo a complete transformation to attract more visitors to the local area and establish a sustainable amenity for the local and neighbouring commu-nities.

The planned €90,000 upgrade is the result of over twelve months work by the voluntary Mullagha-reirk Walking Trail Com-mittee who have been supported by local devel-opment company West Limerick Resources to develop the project with the aim of bringing the trails in line with the guidelines set-out by the National Trails Office. In addition to planning and development support the committee have also recently secured a grant of over €74,000 from West Limerick Resources under the Rural Development (LEADER) Programme 2007-2013.

The original walking trails were developed in 2000 under the name Mullagha-reirk Mountain Trails and currently consist of eight looped walks. In the last decade the trails have been used on a regular basis by local walking groups and well maintained by the local voluntary committee however currently the walks were not accredited by the National Trails Office.

Following advice received from West Limerick Res-ources, the Trail Com-mittee, which is made up of local volunteers, reques-ted the National Trails Office to conduct a com-plete review of their existing trails in early 2012 which identified a range of recommended improve-ments. Following a review of the recommendation conducted with the support of the West Limerick Resources dedicated Countryside Recreation Animator, the group put together a detailed proposal which will see existing trails in the Broadford and Ashford areas revamped and new trails developed reducing the number of trails from eight to six, but improving their quality to nationally recognised standards.

Among the redevelopment work to be undertaken is track surface improvements and fencing, erection of way marked posts and finger signs, map boards and lecterns/story boards, design and printing of brochures and marketing material along with the creation of a dedicated website.