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Post details Post   (Contract pics)
Conor74
2012-09-17 17:24:29
Scenario 1 - Devil's Advocate
...it may well provide a positive impact if it herds all the walkers along one safe route and thus (i) prevents walkers from tramping all over the flora and fauna - a zoologist might be satisfied with a walkway like that and (ii) helps preserve life and limb. It is not evident from that picture but (i) that might be particularly so if the walkway consists of material, wire or sheeting, placed over the ground and not dug into it - much like sleepers laid atop a bog. Not only does that minimise impact in a practical way, it can limit "spread" (it can also of course provide a focus for spread too, witness the tracks that make me wince any time I see a pic of the Lake District). It seems to have stopped large numbers of walkers veering all over Killarney National Park and kept them to a defined route over the boggy areas of the Old Kenmare-Killarney Road.

But of course, our interests may not be one and the same as zoologists or others interested in the outdoors, though they may correspond. I say that as we have to be careful to remember we are not alone in enjoying the outdoors, and some who do so may have little or no interest in the beauty or scenery, and may regard every step by every person coming into that area and the damage that does to the flora and fauna...in which case it comes down to the lesser of two evils (walkway or none) but with different considerations.

I should stress that the walker in me thinks it is undoubtedly ugly and has a negative impact on the aesthetic of the area. And I have seen pictures put up by Bleck Cra and others and one has to be concerned at what they show. Clearly the one in the pic below may have been done a bit more sympathetically. But I guess then one has to think about other issues, costs and finance being an obvious one.

Not sure one can ever devise a rule to meet all proposals. Or even that it is desirable, beyond the "use common sense". Plus it is a debate that has no end, in the sense that I do not like to sees trails brought in, but I can appreciate what they do when sympathetic to their surroundings, so we could spend forever swapping tales of pretty decent ones where they were a necessary evil, and then horrific efforts.
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