September 28, 2021

99% drop in visits to Wicklow forests since Covid-19 restrictions: Coillte

There has been a massive 99% drop in visitors to Wicklow’s forests since the current Covid-19 restrictions came into effect, Coillte has confirmed.

The State forestry organisation has thanked the public for observing Covid-19 guidelines as it recorded a significant decrease in footfall at its recreational forests since the Government introduced enhanced restrictions on March 27.

Approximately 50 people visited Coillte’s recreational forests at Glenasmole and the Devil’s Glen between March 28 and April 3, compared to 3,600 recorded the previous week. That is an overall reduction of 99% with Portumna Forest Park in Galway and Ards Forest Park in Donegal seeing similar reductions in visitor numbers of 99%.

Coillte chief executive Imelda Hurley said: “We wish to thank the public for adhering to the restrictions currently in place at Coillte’s recreational forests across the country.

“We understand this is a challenging time, but by observing the Covid-19 related Government and HSE advice, you are helping to save countless lives. The significant reduction in footfall recorded across our recreational forests is a clear signal that the public are taking their responsibility seriously and protecting our most vulnerable communities.

“We all have our own part to play and we want to take this opportunity to thank the public for their cooperation so far, and ask that they continue to observe the Government and HSE guidance on Covid-19.”

Coillte had introduced access restrictions to minimize the spread of Covid-19 in Coillte managed recreational forests across the country which are currently only open to local pedestrians, while all on-site carparking remains closed.

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