A GROUP of volunteers have come together in a ‘herculean effort’ to restore the Lough walk in Loughmacrory.
Last week, dozens of volunteers carried out a massive project to resurface and improve the scenic walkway which attracts scores of people daily.
The 1.3 mile walk was completely resurfaced and the bridges were strengthened to ensure visitors’ safety. The area was tidied up and vastly improved as local people gave up their time to complete the project, while local contractors donated machinery to complete the task.
West Tyrone MLA Declan McAleer said it was a huge community effort, and the result was “outstanding”.
He said, “A group of local people decided that the walk needed a proper lift – it needed resurfaced and the bridges needed to be strengthened to ensure they are fit for purpose.
“A group of volunteers got together and it snowballed from there and there was a phenomenal amount of work done last week.
“Local contractors volunteered their machinery and it was just a real community effort.
“There would have been hollows in the walk, and occasionally it might have flooded if there was heavy rain or the water level of the Lough had risen, so part of walk has been raised up and the surface is a lot smoother.
“It is more accessible and is better for runners and walkers.”
The 1.3 mile walk around the Lough has always been extremely popular among local people, but it has become increasingly busy since the lockdown began.
The work has been welcomed by the whole community Mr McAleer said. “The footfall around the Lough is massive and to enable the walkway to remain open during the lockdown, we put in place a one way system.
“People have told us that it is one thing keeping them sane during lockdown and they have been using the walk for their daily exercise for the past two or three months.”
He added, “The whole community has been a hive of activity recently and this project is really the silver lining of Covid as we never would have got this done if people weren’t off work. The volunteers were fantastic and it is a brilliant facility for the entire community.”