Hikers and nature lovers are unhappy about hard-track plans for Irish waterways
“Step out on the grassy way which is the Barrow towpath and you have stepped into another world. You can walk along the river for miles without hearing a car or a lorry. You can’t even hear the sound of your own footsteps. You’ll hear the birds; the rush of the weirs; the wind in the trees. And little by little you’ll let go of your worries because the river has cast its spell.”
Earlier this year, in one of her inimitable radio diaries for Drivetime, on RTÉ Radio 1, Olivia O’Leary expressed her love of a very special landscape – and her dismay at Waterways Ireland’s plans to “improve access” to the Barrow and other rivers (and canals) by building hard-surface, impermeable tracks on the old pathways that give her, and many others, so much balm and pleasure.
“We are all in favour of more walkers and canoeists and cyclists and anglers,” she continued, “but the grassy towpath is the green frame for the river, part of its soft beauty. Why destroy the very beauty we want visitors to see?”
Published in The Irish Times on 10th June 2017 Read the full article here
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