Plan launched to increase visitors to Glenfarne Wood

Ambitious ideas include visitor centre and cafe, sauna, all weather shelters and forest bathing programme

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Reporter:

Leitrim Observer Reporter

Plan launched to increase visitors to Glenfarne Wood

Options for Glenfarne Wood report launched this week

A new Options Report for Glenfarne Wood was launched last night outlining exciting plans to develop the 216 acre wood and increase visitors to North Leitrim.

Big ideas being considered for the wood includes a new visitor centre with the possiblity of a cafe, all weather shelters in the wood, a sauna and wild swimming facility and a childrens natural play ground. The report sets out projects such as developing trails and setting up a website and interactive social media.

Glenfarne Wood is located close to the Marble Arch Caves in Fermanagh, it has a shore line on lough MacNean and is close to the starting point of the proposed SLNCR Greenway.

Guests of Leitrim County Council and Coillte gathered online last night to formally launch the Options Report for Glenfarne Wood. The report provides a suite of development options that could be undertaken to enhance Glenfarne Wood for local and regional recreation and attracting tourism visitors.

These options have been developed after research, widespread consultation and benchmarking against similar sites here and in Northern Ireland and England.

Paul Jordan, Area Team Leader with Coillte, outlined the context of the report, commissioned as a result of a Working Group comprised of Coillte and Leitrim County Council officials. Its underlying rationale was to research and gather stakeholder input on development proposals that would suit Glenfarne Wood and enhance its assets as a recreational and tourism destination.

Delivered by EMcG Solutions and Ethna Murphy Consulting, the publication marks the culmination of over seven months’ consideration and input from community, voluntary, business and statutory organisations. It is also a concrete demonstration of the developing working relationship of Coillte and Leitrim County Council.

Proposals for actions are laid out under themes that support Health and Wellness, Family Fun, Active in Nature, Trails and Tales and Unlocking the Water.

Co-launching the report Coillte’s Managing Director, Mark Carlin thanked the guests for their feedback and interest in Glenfarne Wood: “It is testament to the great esteem in which Glenfarne Wood is held that you took time to think about its special qualities and what it means to you on a daily basis. On behalf of both organisations, we thank you."

Leitrim’s Cathaoirleach, Councillor Mary Bohan welcomed the report: “A development of this nature has the potential to transform the tourism offering in North Leitrim and provide a sustainable and significant boost to this region, through increasing visitor numbers and job creation in the leisure and hospitability sectors."

Next steps are already underway as Tracy Ferguson of Leitrim County Council explained: an application
for funding has been submitted that would provide for mapping areas of Glenfarne Wood according to the themes suggested in this report and incorporating Coillte’s work plans for Glenfarne Wood as an operational, commercial woodland. If successful, the project will also provide design drawings that would support future actions.

The Report is available on the Leitrim County Council and Coillte websites.

More details in next week's Leitrim Observer.