Wednesday, 4 May 2016
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
Mountain Access Schemes
283. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if commonage owners who grant permission to walkers to walk through their lands are responsible for the safety of the walkers; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8881/16]
284. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if compensation is available to persons (details supplied) in County Kerry who allow hill walkers to use trails on their lands; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8906/16]
My Department administers a Walks Scheme, which provides modest payments to landowners to maintain sections of walking trails that traverse their lands. It does not affect their property rights and is not a payment for access purposes. Due to budgetary constraints it has not been possible to expand the existing Walks Scheme in recent years to include additional walks such as the one referred to in the details supplied. However, there continue to be 39 trails covered by my Department’s Walks Scheme and in 2015 payments to participants exceeded €1.8m. The number of participants currently on the Scheme stands at approximately 1,900.
285. To ask the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government if all community and voluntary groups which have undertaken work on land and property belonging to a local authority or the State will be indemnified against any possible claims where agreement has been reached within these bodies, given recent claims against the National Parks and Wildlife Service. [8973/16]
Under the Walks Scheme, managed by my Department, all landowners and occupiers whose property or land is traversed or adjoins a recreational trail that has been inspected and approved by the National Trails Office, are indemnified by a commercial company.
In relation to the Deputy’s specific query, any community or voluntary group which has undertaken work on land or property belonging to a local authority or other State body, should liaise directly with the local authority or State body in question and may be required to have public liability insurance in place.