In Sept 2007 a group of women in Drimnagh got together to start a campaign to get a Slí na Sláinte route for the Drimnagh area. Slí na Sláinte means path to health in English and was founded by the Irish Heart Foundation over a decade ago. The women felt a sli route in Drimnagh would be a positive project for the community and one which would benefit everyone, young or old.

The criteria for getting  Slí na Sláinte into an area is simple enough, however, it does take time and real community effort.  I have listed the basic steps to take below or see here for a more comprehensive step by step guide.

1) First you have to generate some interest from the community and prove there is a need for a sli route. How do you do this?  Organise different walks throughout the year and invite people from the community to come along and walk for fun.

2) Then you need to think about a safe and easy route that is accessible for all the community. Once you have identified one, it needs to be measured. Borrow a measuring wheel off someone and get walking along a few different routes that may be suitable.

3) You will need permission from your local authority as signs need to be erected along the route at one-kilometer intervals to direct people and let them know how far they have walked. There is a small cost to getting these signs put in place and the cost can vary depending on the type of signs needed.

4) In order to make the walk sustainable and to help people who are not regular walkers, the Irish Heart Foundation encourage communities to get trained walking leaders to promote and lead walks in their area. The can also help run the “Slí Challenge” to help people calculate their time and distance walked to help them achieve awards when targets are met.

And that’s it really. As said earlier, it does take time to get a route into an area. It is three years and a bit since the group of women in Drimnagh sat around the table and decided they wanted a Slí na Sláinte route for Drimnagh. But they are nearly there and it is hoped to have the route in use for the Summer.

And the same women are looking for more trained walking leaders, young, old, male or  female to become part of the Drimnagh walking team. Do you have some spare time? Like the outdoors and meeting new people? Then why not give it a try. The next course being held for the Walking Leader Training by the Irish Heart Foundation is this September and it will be held over a weekend in Cavan.

So if you love walking and have an hour or two to spare a week, then why not give it a go.

About the author

Pauline Sargent Pauline Sargent is the founder of Drimnagh is Good a hyperlocal community website bog for the people of Drimnagh. Connect with Pauline on Google + me on Google+



  1. siobhan on Monday 15, 2010

    Hey Pauline,
    Hope the walk works out – When I get a chance I’ll sometimes go walking in the evenings down Cooley Rd, Kilworth Rd then down one side of the canal and up the other – and back again.
    But walking along the far side of the canal can be a little intimidating as a lone female so anything like this which makes you feel safer walking would be very welcome.
    One of these days I’m going to walk down that hill into the park opposite Blackhorse Luas stop.
    Maybe the route will go down there!

  2. pauline on Monday 15, 2010

    Hi Siobhan

    Thanks for that. I know what you mean about feeling safe. Thats hopefully one of the issues the Sli route will tackle when implemented.

    The park opposite the Blackhorse Luas stop is Landsdown Valley Park and well worth a walk around. May even be good for some bird watching. There was a bio diversity report done on it recently. I’ll dig it out and send it onto you as I think they mentioned what birds frequent it.

    The proposed route for the sli walk is on both sides of the canal between Blackhorse and Suir bridge, it covers about 3km. And as you highlighted some areas need maintainance and lighting to be put in for extra security, this is all been reviewed at the moment. It has also been proposed to take in an extra 1km loop of the Landsdown Valley park for those who want to do extra walking in quieter surroundings.

    Pauline

  3. siobhan on Monday 15, 2010

    That route sounds good! I’ll see what I see down in LV park when it stops raining one of these weekends!

  4. [...] people to get out & enjoy their local area. It is also to promote the proposed development of a Sli na Slainte route for the Drimnagh area. If your into taking photos there are good picture opportunities along [...]