The Great Western Greenway, County Mayo, has been awarded the Irish Environment Award of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM ). The award was presented to Mayo County Council by John Casey, chairperson of the Republic of Ireland branch of the CIWEM, at a reception in Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, on Friday November 23.
The Great Western Greenway is a 42km off road walking and cycling trail now connecting two of Mayo's most established tourism destinations—Westport and Achill. During 2011 almost 175,000 people used the facility, contributing €7 million to the local economy.
The award acknowledges the contribution of the innovative Greenway to improving the environment of County Mayo and the commitment that Mayo County Council has made in leading the development of the National Cycle Network.
Anna Connor, walking and cycling development officer with Mayo County Council, said: “We are thrilled that the Greenway is the recipient of the CIWEM Irish Environment Award 2012. This award acknowledges that the Greenway is an innovative and sustainable tourism product that is having a positive impact on our local environment. The Greenway has been very important in encouraging people to walk and cycle more and to embrace Smarter Travel in their daily travel routines. Modal shift is becoming more evident in the Westport, Newport, and Achill areas. We are also delighted that the award also acknowledges the positive cooperation between the various stakeholders who participated in making the Greenway a reality.”