Green light for new nature park in Aughrim

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Galway Daily news Funding boost for walking and cycling in Galway's forests

A green light has been given for the creation of a new park in Aughrim with walking trails, landscaping, and other picnic amenities.

Aughrim Community Development Company has received planning permission to create the Climate Action Park on a 1.7ha grassland site starting in the village centre.

The site is located in the area of the ruins of the Abbey of St. Conall, a protected historical monument.

This will include creating 1.6km of new pathways, mostly gravel but with some tarmac where there are “notable inclines and declines” to aid grip for wheelchairs according to the application.

A small boardwalk with handrails will be installed in one wetland area of the site.

Landscaping for the park will involve the planting of carbon-sequestering trees, shrubs, hedgerows, wildflowers, bulbs and grasses.

Other works will include signposting points of ecological, spiritual and archeological significance, as well as installing benches, picnic tables, and bins.

“The Climate Action Park will aim to bring to the attention of the local and wider community the issue of climate change and the associated threats to biodiversity,” the application states.

“It will aim to promote positive ecological action in the area. It will also aim to draw attention to major historical sites in the area, such as the ruins of the Abbey of St Conall”.

“We will also include a reflection point where visitors will be able to have a unique vantage point across parts of the site where the Battle of Aughrim took place”.

The site will be accessed via the existing car park next to the Holy Trinity Church and The Glebe National School.

A Natura Impact Statement was prepared and added to the planning application at the request of the county council.

Planning permission was granted by the county council with a total of six conditions attached.

A geophysical survey must be carried out as part of an archaeological assessment of the site.

This is to identify any surviving sub-surface remains of the Abbey, the full extent of which is unknown.

Further archaeological monitoring will take place during any ground works, and a buffer zone will be implemented around the protected monument.