Some believe that the UFRC only represents those who spend all their leisure time in the mountains or “wild places” but nothing could be further from the truth. Many of our Clubs and their members also enjoy shorter, less strenuous walks with perhaps a historic background and in both an urban as well as a rural environment. The UFRC is committed to all types of walking and is involved in supporting many new projects in local communities.
One such is the Connswater Community Greenway in east Belfast. Thanks to Lottery Funding and support from many organizations £32m is being spent in flood alleviation works but of particular interest to us also the development of a 9 km linear greenway for use by walkers and cyclists from the Castlereagh Hills to the heart of Belfast.
Starting at Lisnabreeny Rath (highest point on the Hills) with great views over the City the route will travel down Cregagh Glen, through the eastern suburbs and join the Comber Greenway at Holywood Arches. Here there are plans for a Tourist Information Centre and the development of short walks – named after famous local people – George Best, Van Morrison and C S Lewis. The Greenway will terminate in Victoria Park but a new foot bridge will link with Airport Road West providing access to the Titanic Quarter allowing walkers/cyclists to continue south along the Lagan Towpath or north along the Loughshore. UFRC are also pressing for a link to Holywood to join the Ulster Way which continues to Groomsport and beyond.
The UFRC recognizes the vital importance of these local “link” projects and the marvelous opportunities they provide for members.
Recently the Connswater Community Greenway Team in conjunction with East Belfast Partnership held a “Walking off the Blues” event to encourage people to get out and walk pointing out the health benefits. Reg Magowan UFRC President represented UFRC at the event. The photograph shows Reg and extended family with the Lord Mayor of Belfast Gavin Robinson.