Bord na Móna has a long history with Mountlucas and the surrounding areas. The site provided peat for many years to Rhode power station and to Croghan Briquette Factory. After providing much-needed employment to areas such as Mountlucas, Daingean, and Walsh Island, today the Mountlucas site provides an unrivalled leisure amenity to the area.
Bord na Móna Powergen has recently completed the development of a 7km walkway – cycleway around Mountlucas Wind Farm. This 7km colour-coded route is part of the 21km internal road network around the wind farm. As well as providing pathways for walkers and athletes, the site also allows people to view first hand a cutaway bog and its re-vegetation. As the wind farm only occupies 1.5 per cent of the area of the site, Bord na Móna saw the opportunity to provide an amenity for the local community within the wind farm boundary.
The park is also ideal for a number of other activities including bird watching and nature exploration. There are a number of different species of trees and shrubs spread across 1100 hectares. Indeed, the area is home to flora and fauna such as the rare round-leaved wintergreen, along with hares, badgers, foxes and many more. For those interested in bog rehabilitation, it is possible to see work completed under the rehabilitation plan which was devised in association with Ecologists Dr Catherine Farrell and Mark McCorry. Throughout Mountlucas, there are examples of re-wetted and re-vegetated peatland. You can also see the Slieve Bloom Mountains and Croghan Hill from the site. There is also a Fulacht Fiadh, an ancient cooking area, and the site where toughers – ancient timber roadways – were discovered, which date back to early Neolithic period circa 5,000 years ago.
As the wind farm only occupies 1.5 per cent of the area of the site, Bord na Móna saw the opportunity to provide an amenity for the local community within the wind farm boundary. Bord na Móna Powergen has recently completed the development of a 7km walkway–cycleway around Mountlucas Wind Farm.
Mountlucas Wind Farm Walk and Cycle Park have proven to be quite a success with both locals and tourists alike. There are an estimated 500 people a week using the amenity. It is being used for cycling, walking and running by both local people, sports clubs and societies on a frequent basis. In June 2015, 120 people braved the elements for Run with the Wind, a 5K and 10K chipped timed race that took competitors through the wind farm where they got to see the 150m turbines up close.
The site personnel team have done a wonderful job creating onsite parking facilities at both the Northern and Eastern access points. It is envisaged that as the popularity of the Walk and Cycle Park grows that these facilities will be extended to cater for the local people visiting the site.