The new Tree Top Adventure Walk at Castlecomer Discovery Park was officially launched on Friday with huge support from the local community, friends of the park, stakeholders, Kilkenny County Council representatives, staff and board members.
The Tree Top Walk, which has been described as like something from a Robin Hood scene, is a fun-filled activity and takes place in the beautiful woodland area of the park alongside the banks of the river Deen providing stunning views for walkers as they make their way through the Sycamore trees tops.
The launch kicked off with a superb performance by jazz and traditional groups from Castlecomer Community School under the direction of Eamon Cahill and Fiona McPhilips respectively.
Vocalist Colm Gray described to Sue Nunn in the Outside Broadcast of KCLR FM how the coal mining heritage in Castlecomer had inspired him to write his own music on this theme.
Preceded by a joint blessing by Monsignor Michael Ryan and Rev Patrick Bourke, the green ribbon around the Tree Top Adventure Walk was jointly cut by Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny county Council Paul Cuddihy and Community School transition year student Dean Hagenov.
Proving that the walk is a fun-filled activity for all ages was a local family from Castlecomer, where to the amazement of all present eighty year old Anna McEntee, her daughter Ann and grand daughter Susan Boland completed the course! The sprightly octogenarian completed the course to a round of applause from family members and instructorst. She said her arms were a little sore the following day but that it was fine and realy enjoyed it.
Director of the park, Michael Brooke said the Tree Top Walk added to the existing natural heritage and beauty of the park and provided visitors with a myriad of reasons to visit the park and to return again to enjoy the other attractions like the craft studios, walking trails, fishing lessons, coal mining interactive exhibition and award-winning (Bridgestone) Jarrow Café.
He cited the economic benefits of such development for cultural tourism and highlighted the fact that a team of six part time instructors have been recruited to staff these developments creating vital local employment.
Declan Rice, CEO of Kilkenny Leader Partnership highlighted the enormous sense of commitment and investment by the community in driving the ongoing development at Castlecomer Discovery Park remarking that this level of input was not likely to be found elsewhere.
For the month of May the Tree Top Walk will be open: Friday 2.30 to 7.30pm; Saturday and Sunday 10.30am to 5.30pm.
Group bookings only Monday to Thursday – advance booking essential. All participants receive full safety instructions by the specially trained team. Helmets and harnesses (adult and child sizes) are provided and must be worn. Minimum height and weight restrictions apply: 1.2 metres height (7+ years); maximum weight 120kg. For details please see: www.discoverypark.ie or phone +353 56 444 07