Walks Scheme paid out almost €2m to participants last year

Department of Environment figures show that landholders received €1,909,468 of Walks Scheme payments in 2011.

The average payment was €1,057 per participant per annum. The Walks Scheme operates on 40 trails being managed by 16 local development companies around the country. There are 1,805 landowners participating.

The full-year cost of implementing the Walk Scheme in 2012 is €2.6m.

Due to funding constraints, it will not be possible to add any new participants to the scheme in 2012, and any future expansion of the Walks Scheme will depend on the availability of additional funding, said Environment Minister Phil Hogan.

The Walks Scheme was launched in Mar 2008 on the recommendation of Comhairle na Tuaithe (the Countryside Council).

It addressed a long-standing impasse over access to private lands for recreational purposes.

It brought in landholders as key participants in the provision of high-quality walking trails by contracting them to undertake maintenance work on the trails in line with agreed work plans.


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