As all those who use the Mournes, may know about the Path work being done on the track that leads up to donard via the Glen rivere. Here are pictures taken recently.
Pictures by Simon Reardon & David Sloan
Work has started on erosion control along the public right of way alongside the Glen River above Donard Wood; the main access route to Slieve Donard. The map shows the extent of the working corridor. The project has been funded through the NI Environment Agency’s Natural Heritage Grants Programme.
The eroded site is within the Eastern Mournes Special Area of Conservation (a European level of habitat protection) and Area of Special Scientific Interest, and the Glen River is an important salmonid watercourse.
The path has become extremely eroded as shown in the photograph; there are severe gullies and the path is rock strewn pushing users into a wider area and into the adjacent forest, thus causing wider erosion. Eroded material is being washed through the corridor, and into the Glen River.
The works aim to mitigate erosion and aid habitat recovery, whilst maintaining the challenge of being in the remote outdoors. This is achieved through careful selection of sustainable routes, and where required, the establishment of a path through an eroded corridor.
The basic aim behind any new path work is to mimic the exposed gravel paths that have developed naturally throughout the Mournes. A path team will work by hand and with a machine where required, such as a 3 tonne mini-digger, to establish a narrow aggregate path through the eroded corridor, and to carry out ground work to aid the recovery of the habitat.
Techniques include ‘benching’ and other similar sustainable methods to make the paths blend in better with the natural contours and shed water. Stone ‘slabs’ will be used to step up to higher levels and will help demarcate the route and ‘block off severely eroded and unsustainable routes. Most of the work involves landscaping the areas alongside the path to direct flow, aid habitat recovery and mitigate visual impact.
Helicoptering of material for landscaping and path works, including the use of similar granite boulders and turfs, will be required and will take place on Sunday 11 March 2012.
The path work team will be on site until the end of May 2012 and MHT apologises for any inconvenience.
It’s important that we constantly review the approach taken and feedback is most welcome. To this end, MHT is keen to raise awareness of its work and engage with users and land owners and are pleased to make presentations to any group interested in finding out more.
Please contact MHT for more details.
Mourne Heritage Trust
Newcastle Centre, Donard Room | 10-14 Central Promenade | NEWCASTLE | BT33 0AA