Simon Gray and Roisin Grimes who are employed by the Ulster Wildlife Trust to work on the CANN project, a cross-border environmental project to preserve priority habitats and species told our group about the history of the site, the explosion of activity following social media exposure in 2017, and what the current plans are for Cuilcagh.
Visitors to the Cuilcagh Boardwalk are now asked to keep to the designated path and to remain within the confines of the viewing platform at the top of the boardwalk.
Hillwalkers who want to visit the summit of Cuilcagh are requested to take other routes on the mountain and to avoiding using the boardwalk, to prevent further environmental damage in the area immediately beyond the viewing platform.
Discussion on the day helped participants see the Cuilcagh Boardwalk from different perspectives – the large number of young people using the boardwalk, the extent of the trampling impact on the summit plateau, the need for a better ‘ending’ to the boardwalk and how each intervention at Cuilcagh since the 1980s has necessitated more infrastructure.
We also got to experience that even on a sunny autumn day, the area at the top of the boardwalk is exposed and so much colder than the car-park below.
Mountaineering Ireland extends thanks to the participants, Simon and Roisin, and also Adam from the Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark.