Details of a wee meeting we had some time ago:-
General Meeting of interests held Wednesday, 20th Oct 2010
Morris Egan, National Parks & Wildlife Service
Matthew McGeehan, IFA, Hill Walking Forum
Ian Woods, IFA
Johnny McCabe, Cuchulainn Cycle Club
Tony Kelly, Cuchulainn C.C. Mt.Bike Secretary.
Dermot Cantwell, Coillte.
Matthew McGeehan opened the meeting stating how disappointed he was that they (HWF) together with the local landowners, were not contacted with regard to access to the mountain for the recent XC mountain bike marathon (Da Cooley Thriller).
Johnny McCabe stated that on behalf of the organisers that they were not aware they had to contact anyone with regard to ‘commonage’ land, and that all the relevant permits were obtained. It was agreed that all future races of that size, that dates and race routes be communicated to Matthew and that other land owners be notified of same.
Johnny also stated they were unaware of permits required to access the Special Conservation Area ‘SCA’ in the Cooley’s Mountains.
Morris Egan, NPWS, stated that the race route was within the boundary of the SCA and that future races of that size, would require a permit for access to same.
Concern was also raised in relation to spray painted race direction arrows on several large rocks along the course. It was agreed that no permanent markings were to be used at future races and that existing arrows not yet eroded, be removed ASAP. (Most of which have now been removed)
Johnny stated that all members of Cuchulainn were encouraged to follow the countryside code
‘RESPECT’ and ‘LEAVE TO TRACE’
Fasten all gates
Keep your dogs under close control
Keep to public paths across farmland
Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone
Take your litter home
Help to keep all water clean
Protect wildlife, plants and trees
Leave gates and property as you find them
Keep dogs under close control
Help farmers, landowners and others to work safely and effectively
Care for the environment and other recreation land users
Take extra care if you are organising a group, or an event, obtain required permits
Obey all signage
Ian Woods stated that it was a very positive step that the meeting was taking place and that all parties meet and agree to a way forward, ensuring that the interests of all parties are considered and protected, with mutual respect and that communication was the key to this success.
There was mutual concern about the volume of traffic on race day, causing the poaching of soil on raised bog and marshy areas. It was stated that only existing sheep tracks were used and it was agreed that in future races were these areas could not sustain such traffic, that these areas be avoided to limit the affects of erosion and damage.
Morris Egan suggested that the routes for future races be surveyed, part of which could be walked in the new year.
This concluded the meeting and it was agreed to meet again in the new year.
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