26 May 2023 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Plans are in train to develop parts of Dartrey Forest Park as a visitor attraction but the process will be a delicate one given the area’s principal designation as a commercial forestry, the members of the Ballybay-Clones Municipal District were informed on Monday. The MD meeting heard an illuminating presentation from Co Tourism Officer Dympna Condra and Sue Mannis from consultants The Paul Hogarth Company on the project, which has a declared focus on “low-impact, sensitively designed interventions to enhance the outdoor experience in Dartrey Forest, particularly along the existing walking routes.”

Ms Condra stated that two allocations of €200,000 each under the Outdoor Recreation Infrastructure Scheme had been received in 2020 and 2021 for projects in the area, which was Coillte property and was not owned by the local authority. Similar to the arrangement put in place in relation to Rossmore Forest Park, a MOU or Memorandum of Understanding with regard to Dartrey had been prepared between Monaghan Co Council and Coillte. “The issue we have is that this is a Coillte property and they will determine what can and should be done,” the Tourism Officer stated.

She added that the two projects which had received funding would be running together which would help them to deliver uniformity of design and economies of scale. “We are walking to a deadline of next year for the completion of the two projects,” Ms Condra pointed out. The process had been complicated and the Co Council had been…

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