FERMANAGH and Omagh District Council has announced the opening of a new parking facility for horse boxes / trailers and 8km of off-road horse trails at Gortin Glen Forest Park.
The project is a dedicated facility for horse riders to bring their horse and experience the majestic views from the western side of Gortin Glen Forest Park as they traverse the trails.
While the trails can be accessed both on foot and by trailer / lorry, access to the car parking facility will be via a refundable deposit-led key scheme. A wheelchair-accessible mounting block has also been provided through financial assistance provided by the British Horse Society (BHS).
The council has also confirmed that the British Horse Society has already conferred the facility with its prestigious BHS National Access Award in recognition of the council’s efforts in delivering this project. This award is presented to organisations who support the equestrian community in preserving existing and developing new safe off-road places to ride.
Speaking about the new facility, the chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Errol Thompson, said: "Fermanagh and Omagh District Council is committed to working in partnership with others to deliver projects which will make the district a great place to live, work and visit. The new parking facility for horse boxes and trailers to enable safe access to the new trails for horses and riders, is yet more evidence of the benefits of such an approach.
This latest development will serve to enhance the Park’s burgeoning reputation as a must visit destination, not only in the district but also across Northern Ireland.”
Heather Clatworthy, senior executive of Access & Rights of Way at the British Horse Society, said: “This free to access, multi-user public facility is a shining example of what can be achieved through partnership working. This facility enables individuals to share and take pride in an outdoor space, promoting physical and mental health and inclusion of the local community and visitors alike. The close working partnership with the BHS and BHS affiliated Glens Bridleway Group is a superb example of how a district council can listen to what is required in the local community and react in a proactive and positive way.
"Thank you to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and partners for delivering a safe off-road space for equestrians. We remind all users on horseback, bike or foot to remember to share the space responsibly, respect each other’s needs, and remember to say hi or wave."
Further information and booking information can be found by visiting www.fermanaghomagh.com/gortinglen or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. To apply online please visit bit.ly/GGFPHorseTrails