30/05/2014

New Walking Trails Opened In Mourne Mountains

Three new walking trails have been opened in the Mourne Mountains at Silent Valley, County Down.

The launch event was hosted by NI Water and attended by various stakeholders and elected representatives, including the Mayor of Newry & Mourne Council, Cllr Michael Ruane.

The trails offer visitors a new range of walking routes to suit all abilities. Other improvements completed in 2012 include upgrades to the visitor’s centre, new signage and an extended children’s play area.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: "While the Silent Valley Reservoir is a place many people may associate with providing drinking water, these new walking trails will help put this area of outstanding natural beauty and engineering achievement on the map as a compelling visitors’ attraction.

"My Department and NI Water’s primary focus is managing the site, including the reservoir, which is the largest in Northern Ireland, holding over 13,000m litres of water and stretching over 2.5miles, providing water to over 200,000 customers on a daily basis.

"It really is a hidden treasure. The new walking trails will enable visitors to truly appreciate the beauty of the Valley whilst also enjoying the other fantastic facilities which were upgraded under Phase One of the project, including the visitor’s centre, which captures a time gone by and allows us to glimpse into the life of workers during the years of the Reservoir construction."

Mr Duncan McCausland, Board Member, Northern Ireland Tourist Board added: "NITB is delighted to provide financial assistance for both Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this project through its Tourism Development Scheme and work in partnership with key stakeholders to help deliver these superb works.

"I am confident that these developments will not only increase visitor numbers and spend to the local economy, but also highlight the immense history within this area in terms of its historical, cultural and industrial heritage."

(IT)

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