Mr Andrew Doyle T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, with responsibility for forestry, today launched the updated NeighbourWood Scheme Brochure at a new NeighbourWood site currently under development by the Roundwood and District Community Council (RDCC). This new community woodland will be located just outside the village of Roundwood, Co Wicklow.
Minister Doyle acknowledged the great work undertaken to date by this hardworking volunteer organisation pointing out that “since 2015 they have worked to restore over 10km of the trails around the Vartry Reservoirs, many of which were overgrown and in need of maintenance. This restoration is a great achievement for this volunteer organisation.” The aim of the Roundwood NeighbourWood Project is to enhance the variety of walks within this woodland for all users and to provide greater linkages between the village of Roundwood and the network of walking trails that surround the Vartry Reservoirs.
The project to enhance and further develop this woodland is being supported with funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine under the NeighbourWood Scheme. This Scheme is designed to help community groups, in cooperation with local authorities, to develop opportunities for recreation while creating and developing woodlands for the benefit of current and future generations.
The scheme is also designed to provide outdoor classrooms for teachers to show children the important contribution forests make to society in terms of social, economic and environmental benefits. The Roundwood NeighbourWood Project itself will bring the existing woodland to a better standard for recreational use through surfacing trails, putting in place informative signage and carrying out maintenance programmes once dead trees and undergrowth have been cleared. The project will also raise awareness of the woods as an important natural heritage and landscape amenity area for residents and visitors.
The Minister of State also launched the new NeighbourWood Scheme Brochure at this event and highlighted that this scheme “provides financial support for Local Community groups to develop woodlands located close to their villages and towns centres. I would encourage more developments like the woodland here in Roundwood and I call for Local Authorities and other public bodies to look for further opportunities similar to this one in their areas”.