Waterways Ireland hosting meeting to discuss recreational opportunities on Lough Erne

Waterways Ireland would like to develop a “Blueway” on the Erne navigation and are planning to hold a meeting of all stakeholders on Tuesday 24th May at 7.30 pm in Waterways Ireland Headquarters, 2 Sligo Road, Enniskillen.

Waterways Ireland is one of the six North/South Implementation Bodies established under the British Irish Agreement in 1999.  Its remit is to manage, maintain, develop and promote over 1,000 km of inland navigable waterways, principally for recreational purposes.

One of those navigable waterways is the Erne waterway.  In order to fulfil the remit, Waterways Ireland’s vision is the development of recreational, heritage and environmental opportunities that link people, history and nature, providing both local communities and visitors with compelling reasons to spend more time in the waterways environment. In this way local communities and visitors can experience the wide spectrum of life that the waterways has to offer and in doing so provide economic, community and social regeneration to areas.

Waterways Ireland has successfully marketed some areas of its navigation as “Blueways” which provide recreational opportunities on and/or along the water.  The proposition is based on having first class infrastructure in place to encourage multi-activity trails (Eg: paddling, walking, cycling) on or adjacent to the waterway.
Equally important to the provision of the infrastructure is the linking and interaction of existing local businesses, new providers, the community sector and public and voluntary sectors in order to provide a co-ordinated approach to economic regeneration and sustainability.  The model has successfully been in operation in areas of the North Shannon since August 2014 and is still developing and evolving in collaboration with local communities.
The Erne waterway is renowned for its beautiful scenery and has so much to offer the recreational user already providing many of the aspects that a “Blueway” represents.  However there remains so much more scope to develop the waterway and maximise its potential.
As an important stakeholder Waterways Ireland would like to invite you to the meeting to discuss the opportunities that you feel exist within the Erne navigation with the intention of setting up a working group in order to take the project forward.

Please phone 028 6634 6216 or 028 6634 6266 if you wish to attend by Friday 20th May.