Further progress on an exciting new innovative walking and recreational trails project at eight locations across Europe, where Donegal County council is the lead partner, was made recently and many project outputs were delivered.
The Atlantic Area Trail Gazers Project includes trails in spectacular locations from Donegal to the Canary Island of La Palma. Partners from across the Atlantic Area met online over two days where detailed planning on this unique project continued.
The Trail Gazers project aims to determine the impact of significant investment which has been made over the years into developing walking and recreational trails across the Atlantic Area on sustaining rural communities and will explore innovative ways that this impact can be enhanced.
During the two-day online meeting partners from each region presented their work package updates including the launch of Trail Care Packs which will include important information on key themes relating to hiking safety and the conservation and protection of each trail site for future generations to enjoy as well as the health benefits of walking and cycling. Each Trail Care pack will also include unique information tailored to each trail including the Lost Stories and the Flora and Fauna which can be found.
Partners were also given updates on our trail sensor data and how this information can inform future development, best practices for virtual tourism, capitalisation options and plans for Business 2 Consumer events. Options for marketing all 8 pilot trail sites were discussed and it is hoped to launch our inaugural ‘International Trail Gazers Challenge’ in the coming months.
While it was acknowledged that some aspects of the project have been affected by ongoing Covid 19 restrictions, all the remaining site surveys and Community Trail Ambassador events are planned throughout 2021 when guidelines allow
Trail Gazers is situated in eight pilot trail sites in 'Chemin De Mémoires', in Bretagne, France; ‘Via Verde del Plazola' in Navarra, Spain; 'La Caldera de Taburiente’ on the Canary Island of Las Palma; the 'Seven Hanging Valleys' in the Algarve, Portugal; 'Sacred Mountain' in Viana do Castelo, Northern Portugal; the ‘Taff Trail’ in West Wales and the Valleys; the ‘Knocknarea/Killaspugbrone loop ‘ in Sligo and 'Inch Levels’ in Donegal.
Project Manager for Trail Gazers, Colin McNulty from Donegal County Council said after the two day meeting "that despite the difficult times that we continue to find ourselves in, he was delighted with the amount of progress made on the project and it was wonderful to see results now being delivered on the work of each partner and the partnership will continue to work on the development of their trails over the next number of weeks and months and will hold its next steering meeting in June."
For more information on the Trail Gazers project, check out our website www.trailgazers.eu. Trail Gazers is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Programme through the European Regional Development Fund.