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kernowclimber
2011-03-04 10:49:27
The Annalong Track: A ReBUFTal of works?
I have been watching the exchange over path maintenance in the Mournes between Bleck Cra and Maclimber with interest. I’m surprised that others haven’t gotten involved in this delightful bun-fight as it must surely elicit strong sentiments among our membership? I have some reservations about intervention on our hills; the guidelines of the British Upland Footpath Trust (BUFT) related to Upland Path Erosion are therefore of interest:

Repairs are necessary to prevent or ameliorate visual intrusion and environmental damage.
Works should be of a high standard of design and implementation using indigenous materials, sympathetic in colour and texture to the immediate surrounding area.
Techniques used should protect existing vegetation and, normally, only locally occurring plant species should be used in restoration.
The more remote the path, the more stringently the criteria for path repairs should be applied.
Repaired paths should be suitable to the route’s use and constructed on a scale appropriate for the intended use as a footpath, bridleway or byway.
Before any repair is agreed the question should be asked, “is there a better solution?”
The use of waymarks, cairns or other intrusive features, other than those traditionally established on summits and path junctions, will be discouraged.
A sustained commitment of resources to path management will be sought, so that small-scale continuous maintenance can replace infrequent, major repairs as the normal method of path management.

At a 2005 conference this body stated their objective of broadening their activities to include Ireland. Et Voila! The immediate assumption is that walkers' trails are intrusive: they ‘scar’ the landscape, damage the environment. Yet to suggest that our hills are wild and unspoilt is a lame argument. They have had discernable trails since antiquity, are often intensively farmed and it is argued that sheep do more damage than walkers, making myriad paths in all directions. Their excrement damages the soil and their presence stifles biodiversity. But hill-walkers are told to ‘leave no trace!’ Most of us accept the presence of livestock; man has been farming our hills for eons. And we have been walking them just as long.

It is obvious that many ‘engineered’ paths in the UK are not working judging by the new trails creeping up alongside them. The stepped route up Scafell Pike in the Lake District is one such path, lethal when wet. The stones are slippery and angled downwards. You leave it at every given opportunity. Whilst I appreciate the argument that more people are taking to our hills and the paths are seeing more traffic, any intervention has to be ‘of an appropriate scale’. Cra posits that the question of ‘a better solution’ for the Annalong track was not thoroughly discussed. Is this so? The work does seem to be rather drastic.
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User profile
ewen
ewen 22 hours ago.
Now living furth of Scotland and getting to know the Irish hills. If you come across a Scottish hill Walker with dodgy knees and walking sedately, stop and say hello.

  
Summit Comment
Knockroe: OMG - I forget to check the MV page!
Pepe 22 hours ago.
Decided to make a day out of a Dublin-Waterford drive, despite low-hanging cloud. Knockroe wore a misty white cap as I glanced up from the Sculloge Gap carpark. Planning my attack (so I thought), ...

  
Summit Summary
Bleantasour Mountain: A boggy but short ascent route
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Go to the forest entrance at S22452 09704. there is room here for a few cars.Walk down the forest track, crossing a ford and follow the track until you can see open ground.Walk south along the edg...

Track
A handy way up two western Monavulaghs.
simon3 a day ago.
Easy access to the ridge.Improved RouteUsing the hard won experience of others and new forest roads we found a relati... walk, Len: 6.5km, Climb: 263m, Area: Bleantasour Mountain, Comeragh Mountains

  
Summit Summary
Milk Hill: Carry on bagging
Collaborative entry Last edit by: simon3 a day ago.
Go to the forest entrance at S22452 09704. there is room here for a few cars.Walk down the forest track, crossing a ford and follow the track until you can see open ground.Walk uphill to the summi...

  
Summit Comment
Seefin: Fine day spoilt by Scramblers
ewen a day ago.
Started at the Coillte gate at 068145 where there is parking for 2 cars. I then followed the forest road around until the first turn off to the left. This takes you along to the fire break/path at...

Forum: General
Local 97
marymac 3 days ago.
An abstract Artist, Charles Shaw, said "Real happiness consists in not what we actually accomplish, but what we think we accomplish." I moved house. So my Local 100 changed. The new list includes ...

  
Summit Comment
Gortrumnagh: Drive or Walk
sandman 2 days ago.
The gravel track at L6133851903 will bring you up to the second quarry workings allowing you to park at L6213651955 and enter the open hillside via a gate just inside the quarry to the left. No si...

  
Track
Hacha Grande by following my nose.
jackill a day ago.
walk, Len: 11.5km, Climb: 636m, Area: Spain, Canary Islands ()

Summit Comment
Derrylahan: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
As this hill is located in a field covered in gorse bushes the easiest access is via the adjacent land owner. Parking at L6670259115 i was fortunate to bump in to the farmer whose farm yard is loc...

  
Summit Comment
Ballynew: Coastal Hill
sandman 2 days ago.
Park at L6231659377 opposite a very modern designed house and follow the non tared track and as it turns right go straight up hill thru an old overgrown trail still used by some cattle on there ow...

  
Forum: General
MI: Celebration Ireland's mountain environmen
simon3 5 days ago.
Date: 26-28/05/2017Venue: Cappanalea OETC, Killorgin. Co. KerryTo coincide with National Biodiversity Week, Mountaineering Ireland is hosting a weekend celebration of Ireland’s mountain environmen...


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