News 2019

Title:  Local and European elections 2019 – please use your voice
Date:  20/05/2019

Local and European elections 2019 – please use your voice

If you have the opportunity to speak with any of the candidates in the upcoming local and European elections, please tell them that hillwalking and/or climbing are important to you, and that if elected you want them to:

1. Improve and secure access for responsible hillwalkers and climbers in Ireland

2. Protect Ireland's mountain environment

Points to support your request:

1. Improved access
- The vast majority of private landowners in upland areas allow access across their land, but the goodwill of landowners is under pressure from increased numbers participating in outdoor recreation activities.
- The voluntary model of agreed Mountain Access being trialled in two areas (the MacGillycuddy Reeks and Binn Shléibhe, Co. Galway) needs to be made work by completing the indemnity arrangement promised by Government for landowners in these areas.
- Clarity and certainty regarding access can be good rural communities that are keen to attract visitors for hillwalking, or other outdoor recreation activities.

- We need elected representatives who will engage with this issue and champion responsible outdoor recreation.

2. Protect Ireland’s mountains
- Ireland’s mountains and upland areas are important environmental, cultural and recreational assets which should be protected for future generations.
- A healthy mountain environment provides many benefits to society including better water quality, carbon storage, space for biodiversity, scenic landscapes and quality outdoor recreation experiences.
- Farmers should be encouraged to deliver more of these public benefits through land management; this should be part of Ireland's new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) strategic plan. 
- Investment and skilled intervention are needed to repair the damage caused to fragile natural environments through increased footfall on popular hillwalking routes. 

You could also mention your own experience of uncertain or restricted access, and talk about the changes you have noticed in the mountain landscape and how these factors affect the quality of your recreation experiences.

Polling day in the local and European elections is Friday 24th May; please use your voice to help improve access and protect Ireland’s mountains.

Further supporting information:

Mountaineering Ireland's current Strategic Plan 
Mountaineering Ireland's vision for the future of Ireland’s mountains
Access - an evolving situation - Irish Mountain Log article autumn 2018 
Benefits of outdoor sports research summary
Helping the Hills - an initiative to address upland path erosion

If you have any questions or comments on the above points please email or phone the Mountaineering Ireland office on 01 6251115.


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