Minister of State McHugh welcomes the appointment of Consarc Design Group Ltd. to prepare a Visitor Experience Development and Management Plan for Glenveagh National Park

Following an open competition, Government Chief Whip and Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands, Joe McHugh TD, today welcomes the appointment of Consarc Design Group Ltd. to prepare a comprehensive Visitor Experience Development and Management Plan for Glenveagh National Park.

Based on the Tourism Interpretative Master Plan for Ireland’s National Parks and the interpretative themes outlined in that, the plan will identify new and enhanced visitor experiences.  These experiences will be primarily outdoor recreation, in line with the conservation objectives of the Park, and designed to enrich visitors’ experience of Glenveagh National Park and add to its attractiveness.

Minister of State McHugh said:

“The Department of Culture, Heritage and Gaeltacht and Fáilte Ireland have established a strategic partnership with the shared aim of enhancing and promoting the tourism offering at Ireland’s National Parks and Nature Reserves.  I am delighted to announce this project in my constituency which is being managed by this strategic partnership.”

“Since the opening of the National Park in 1984, Glenveagh National Park has become the foremost tourist destination in North Donegal. I am confident that the Visitor Experience Development and Management Plan will provide visitors with engaging, imaginative and compelling new and enhanced experiences of Glenveagh National Park.”

“Led by well-known conservation architect and climber, Dawson Stelfox, the phased project is intended to deliver a world class experience for visitors to Glenveagh National Park that includes being active in nature. The plan, prepared by a multidisciplinary team, will facilitate improved visitor access and address visitor capacity issues. While the plan aims to harness the many recreational opportunities there are in Glenveagh National Park, at all times we will appropriately balance the core conservation and heritage values of the National Park with tourism demand.”

“Glenveagh National Park, comprising over 16,000 hectares, is situated to the northwest of County Donegal. In the heart of the National Park, the romantically situated 19th century Glenveagh Castle stands amidst beautiful gardens on a promontory overlooking Lough Veagh and is surrounded by Donegal’s dramatic granite mountains. Regarded as one of Ireland’s outstanding horticultural masterpieces, the landscape gardens at Glenveagh retains its original Victorian garden layout, and contains a walled garden, pleasure grounds, naturalised woodland, Gothic orangery, an ornamental jardin potager, Italian terrace and Tuscan Garden. The gardens are host to many rare plants unique to Irish Gardens, and are managed as an inspirational environment that cherishes and protects the biodiversity of the plant world.”

“The plan aims to stimulate greater awareness and demand for Glenveagh National Park as an iconic attraction that will have a positive impact on overall tourism in Donegal. In addition to the landscapes and cultural heritage of the park, visitors may be privileged to catch a rare glimpse of the Golden Eagle. The park attracts approximately 200,000 visitors per annum, many of whom are enjoying a journey along the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s longest defined coastal tourism route. The Park’s beautiful landscape and cultural heritage has the potential to play a key role in extending the tourism season in Donegal through motivating visitors to visit during ‘off peak’ times.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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