Update 12/03/2021 :
The public consultation which originally ran from February 22nd to March 12th, has been extended to March 26th.
Please continue to fill out the questionnaire (see the link below) and submit any further feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or the online submission form below.
Survey Monkey Questionnaire - Please Click Here
A Visitor Experience and Management Masterplan for Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains National Park has been commissioned by Fáilte Ireland, working with its strategic partners the Office of Public Works (OPW), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Coillte along with the National Monuments Service and Wicklow County Council.
The aim of the Masterplan is to improve the visitor experience in Co Wicklow and the consultant team, led by Consarc Design Group, are asking the public for their input into the project.
The Glendalough and Wicklow Mountains National Park Masterplan covers the full range of visitor attractions and activities available in the area, with a particular focus on active outdoor activities – primarily walking and cycling, and the visitor experience in the Glendalough valley.
There is evidence to suggest that the significant increase in participation in outdoor activities, triggered by the COVID-19 restrictions, will be a permanent feature and it is going a long way to replace the temporary loss in international visitors as a result of the pandemic.
Research, surveys and the ongoing consultation process have identified a number of issues in relation to outdoor activities which are mirrored across all types of visitor experience including: congestion at key sites, concerns over security, capacity and quality of car parking and visitor services, issues with local access, and erosion and degradation of the environment.
The proposed solutions to those issues include dispersal of visitors to a wider variety of sites throughout the county, improving the capacity and sustainability of the most popular sites, and improving car parking and visitor services provision across the area.
A number of Visitor Experience Hubs have been identified around the county where there is a particular focus of visitor attractions, building on work in Wicklow County Council’s Outdoor Recreation Strategy and other initiatives. Development of these hubs will build capacity, encouraging longer stays and greater investment in the area.
In addition to these proposed ‘hubs’, there are established activity sites throughout the county, many of which need further development in order to become more sustainable. The team is developing detailed plans for walking, mountain biking and family cycling which will involve a mixture of enhancing and extending existing provisions, investing in environmental impact management and in new provisions, especially for off road family cycling.
Following the public consultation, Fáilte Ireland along with the OPW, NPWS, Coillte and National Monuments Service will review the responses and use them to shape draft proposals. These will be reviewed with Wicklow County Council and be the focus for a further period of public engagement that will inform refinement prior to finalisation.