This part of the project is concerned with practical infrastructural developments that enable the more efficient management of visitor impacts on the environment. These include:
A Conservation Programme was implemented at Fanore Dunes, a popular beach and dune system, where the impact of visitors has eroded parts of the dune system and damaged many of its habitats.
A Car Park was created at Poulnabrone Dolmen, the iconic archaeological monument in the Burren, where coach and car parking on the road during the busy tourist season was causing serious traffic congestion.
A Signage Plan, designed to address the current counter-productive signage in the Burren, was developed following an extensive review of existing signage, a consultation programme, assessments of the Burren landscape and international best practice. The proposed plan is currently with Clare County Council for review.
A series of Viewing Points were created on a number of scenic routes to provide safe off-road viewing at popular beauty spots.
A Coast Road Traffic Management Strategy was developed to address the sometimes serious levels of traffic congestion, unsafe parking, littering and damage to private property that occurs on this internationally rated scenic route. Negotiations on the plans proposals are ongoing with landowners along the route.
The project is investigating Transport Options, such as new Clare Accessible Transport (CAT) routes and local small bus routes initiatives that would alleviate the current reliance on the car and large coaches to visit the Burren.
The issue of Access to Private Lands is key to the development of sustainable tourism in the Burren. Agreements with landowners are vital to the development of trails, parking and other amenities, and their concerns over issues surrounding public liability, damage to property, disturbance of livestock and general management and maintenance must be addressed. All proposals involving the use of, or access through, private lands will be agreed with landowners before the proposals are made public.
Development of Trails: Access to sites of geological, botanical, archaeological and cultural interest is, apart from sites owned and managed by the Monuments Service and the National Parks and Wildlife Service, unmanaged and is directly linked to the issue of access to private lands. The aim of the project is to identify sites suitable for managed access by visitors, secure agreements from landowners and provide appropriate facilities to provide access to, interpretation of and protection of the sites. The development of a series of trails would spread visitor pressure over a range of sites and can be promoted to a range of markets, age or activity groups.