Record numbers walk Cuilcagh Mountain during Easter break
A record number of visitors walked Cuilcagh Mountain, the highest point in counties Fermanagh and Cavan, during the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The 2,500 hectare Cuilcagh Mountain Park, which is managed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and is a designated Special Area of Conservation due to its internationally important blanket bog and significant range of high quality natural habitats and species, has seen its visitor numbers soar by more than 700 per cent over the last couple of years since the opening of a timber boardwalk along part of the mountain trail.
The boardwalk, which opened to the public in July 2015, was constructed to protect the blanket bog, restore damaged peatland and increase awareness of bog habitats and their associated species and is doing so successfully. It has also caught the imagination of people from near and far, keen to experience the wilderness of the landscape and trek the boardwalk.
Easter Monday proved to be the busiest day at Cuilcagh Mountain over the holiday weekend. Unfortunately however, some road traffic issues were experienced in the area due to a small number of visitors not cooperating with Council officials directing traffic on the day and parking inappropriately causing access issues for local residents and the emergency services, had they been required. The Council wishes to express its thanks to the majority of people who visited Cuilcagh Mountain over Easter who acted responsibly and parked with care. The Council encourages people to visit this stunning landscape but asks that all visitors cooperate fully with parking arrangements and advice and guidance from Council officials. The Council is also seeking to meet with other Statutory Bodies that have a role to play in addressing the road traffic issues experienced during peak times, to explore all options.
To ensure the sustainable development and enjoyment of the area for all, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has issued the following visitor information and guidance:
– Be mindful of your environment and always park responsibly. Never block access or park on private land
– Always be prepared for the outdoors. Mountain weather conditions can change very quickly. Ensure you have suitable footwear, clothing, map, ample water and snacks (please note mobile phone reception in the area is poor)
– Follow the ‘Leave no trace’ principles to ensure the stunning landscape is kept in pristine condition for everyone to enjoy. Always bring your rubbish home
– Please be aware that to reach the start of the boardwalk you must first walk approximately 5 kilometres of gravel track from the Cuilcagh Mountain Park car park
For further information on visiting Cuilcagh Mountain Park please telephone the Marble Arch Caves Visitor Centre on 028 6634 8855 or visit www.marblearchcavesgeopark.com.