Vandals hit Ballyhoura nature trail for second time

Some of the vandalised signs at Ballyhoura

THE recent destruction of biodiversity signage on the Ballyhoura Nature Trail near Ardpatrick is the second time the popular visitor attraction has been targeted by vandals.

The nature trail runs alongside the Ballyhoura mountain bike trails as a short 2km looped woodland walk that skirts the Ballyhoura hillsides from the Coillte trailhead car park near Ardpatrick.

Two years ago,19 signs were placed along the nature trail incorporating native wildlife facts and pictures designed for families. At the end of March, in what is the second incident of this type, more than half the new signage boards were intentionally destroyed.

Ballyhoura Heritage and Environment Chairperson John Kennedy said it was very disheartening that the signage was vandalised for the second time.

“We ask the public to be respectful of our public amenities and report anything to us or local Gardaí”.

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Ballyhoura Development chief executive Padraig Casey said “we continue to work with all partners and funders to leverage investment into the Mountain Bike Trails and the region, so it is imperative that our natural amenities are respected.

“Local Gardaí have been notified and are investigating. Trailhead CCTV footage will be monitored regularly to stop anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“We ask that people who notice anything suspicious to report it to local Garda stations in Kilmallock or Doneraile. We would also be interested in talking to any local companies who make vandal proof signage as a result of this experience,” Mr Casey added.