Castlegregory Maharees Blueway

Blueway Developer Meeting

 

Next Community-wide meeting will be 10th of March (invite to follow) and this will be 1 hour long.

Invite will be posted to Our Facebook page–Castlegregory Information Centre

This Zoom meeting was attended by 56 people, which was a fantastic turnout. Thanks to all those who took the time and energy to log in and have your say.

Feedback from floor and in chat function was to proceed with the Community authored vision approach and focus on immediate priorities for Summer 2021. Martha summarised the three activities as:  

  1. Keep going with existing priorities of Maharees Conservation Association, Castlegregory Community Council and Stradbally Development Council 
  2. Progress with energy and commitment to address most urgent actions for Summer 2021 
  3. Progress with Community Authored Vision Approach 

A presentation was made by Muireann Kelliher, Dingle hub to the meeting. You can view the document here. Link to follow.

 

We look forward to hearing what you think!
THE CASTLEGREGORY MAHAREES BLUEWAY – HAVE YOUR SAY!
According to Blueways Ireland, a Blueway is ‘a network of approved and branded multi-activity recreational trails and sites, based on, and closely linked with the water, together with providers facilitating access to activities and experiences.’ You could say we have the finest unbranded Blueway in the country in this area, but it doesn’t have the infrastructure to allow us to fully enjoy it.
We, together with Castlegregory Community Council, support the development of a Blueway in this area. We see it as a catalyst for the much-needed, managed development of the area. It will also be a catalyst for the lengthening of the short tourism season on which so many of our businesses and community depend – through the marketing of a Blueway in the off-peak season. It will provide better access to our coastal areas and it will serve to promote the participation in outdoor recreational activities among our own community.
Blueway development is a priority in both National and Local Government strategies. The Dingle Peninsula Marine Tourism Strategy, the draft Dingle Local Area Plan and the Failte Ireland Dingle Peninsula Visitor Experience Development Plan have all identified the development of a Blueway in this area as an action.
We invite you to get involved and have your say in the development of the Castlegregory Maharees Blueway:
1. Read the draft Castlegregory Maharees Blueway discussion document on : https://www.mahareesconservation.com/blueway.html
2. Tell us what you think, suggest amendments or alternatives in our 2-minute anonymous online survey form accessible here:
3. Attend an online public meeting to discuss it further on Zoom – on Tuesday 8th December at 8pm – using this link:
Join Zoom Meeting
We look forward to hearing what you think!
Maharees Conservation Association CLG Committee Members

 

MAHAREES CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION CLG – THE CASTLEGREGORY MAHAREES

BLUEWAY

 

 

A Blue way is: A network of approved and branded multi-activity recreational trails and sites, based on, and closely linked with the water, together with providers facilitating access to activities and experiences. Blueways will typically include a combination of: Walking Trails, Cycling Trails – off road /segregated trails, Paddling Trails / Sites–Canoeing / kayaking / Stand Up Paddle boarding,Snorkelling Trails / Sites , Sailing and Windsurfing Sites may also be included. (Blueways Ireland 2019)

 

The Potential to Develop a Blueway in the Castlegregory Maharees Area:-

 

The Castlegregory Maharees area lies on the Wild Atlantic Way and on the Dingle Way. It is a place of spectacular seascapes, sandy beaches, stunning landscapes and woodland, shaped by the elements, with a wild and rugged coastline. The Maharees is a tombolo. Its dune system, tidal mudflats, Atlantic salt meadows and estuaries aredesignated as part of the Tralee Bay and Magharees Peninsula, West to Cloghane Special Area ofConservation (site code 002070) and the Tralee Bay   Complex Special Protection Area under the EUBirds Directive 2009. There is a rich array of wildlife and natural heritage in the area.The area boasts a Blue Flag beach at Béal Geal. It also has one of the longest uninterrupted stretches of sandy beach in Ireland on Brandon Bay – it is the longest beach on the Wild Atlantic Way.

It is consistently rated as one of the top beaches in Ireland in national media.It is a thriving water sports destination and it is an engine of tourism for the north side of the Dingle Peninsula, providing employment, recreation and revenue – acting as a tourist draw for Castlegregory and its environs. The Magherabeg Beach appears on the Irish Times ‘50 Great Irish Beaches’ list. The Maharees is surrounded by three bays, providing a diverse set of conditions and experiences for
water sports enthusiasts and dabblers alike. The area has successfully delivered an excellent marine tourism product for decades. Scraggane Bay is one of the best intermediate-level windsurfing bays in the country and popular with kite surfers also. The internationally renowned Brandon Bay is a more challenging environment for wind surfers and is also popular with surfers and kite surfers. The waters near the Blue Flag beach at Béal Geal provide an excellent beginners environment for wind surfers, with pleasure crafts, water trampolines, kayaks, SUP, pedal boats and open water swimming buoys for the local sea swimming group. Scraggane pier and Scraggane Bay are also used by the local divecentre (Waterworld) as beginner and intermediate dive sites respectively.

We now invite you to read at your leisure the full document which sets out the considerable potential of the Maharees and Castlegregory as an area in which to develop a Blueway. It presents a variety of coastal walks and activities already available in the area. It lists an extensive set of experienced activity providers in the area as well as the considerable marine-tourism infrastructure already in existence. It makes the case for a Castlegregory Maharees Blueway to become a catalyst for sustainable tourism development in the area and showshow it is aligned with the Visitor Experience Development Plan for the Dingle Peninsula (Fáilte Ireland, 2019) and the Kerry County Council Draft Local Area Plan for the Dingle area (2020).

This document is available at:-  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1q8mBDSbEajGnOvl-_juwo8-qqzmOnNQN/view?usp

 

 

A Castlegregory Maharees Blueway will:

1. Give the area recognition as a destination in its own right. It will package and brand the already extensive set of activities and amenities available in the area which will support a strategic marketing effort.
2. Act as a catalyst for an upgrade of the service and accommodation standards in the area and will also serve to increase the range of services and accommodation in the area through training and other development initiatives.
3. Extend the tourist season and provide economic sustainability for many businesses and will provide a longer employment season for the many seasonal workers in the community.
4. Serve to distribute the benefits from tourism more evenly throughout the Dingle Peninsula by achieving spatial dispersion of visitors across the Dingle Peninsula.
5. Act as a catalyst for the destination to work with Local Link providers to transport visitors from neighbouring towns to the area as well as working with Kerry-based clubs and organisations and the Kerry Local Sports Partnership.
6. Facilitate a more considered and managed development of the area through collaborative effort between government agencies regarding an enhancement of existing facilities and the provision of additional facilities (such as a Water Sports Hub and access to the beaches along Brandon Bay).

 

We invite you to have your say and we would be most thankful if you could fill out this simple form online:-

The Castlegregory Maharees Blueway – Community Engagement at

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSclgUIdAq2hmNk26x6Kk7Mfaw9ZCIIAJlA4-r3r1A55RHEqSg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Thank you and looking forward to your oponions.