Supervisor: Dr. James Moran.
European Greenway developments typically ‘recycle’ old disused transport corridors and construct new, multi- use, non- motorised infrastructure within a safe and clean environment. Greenways promote rural development, tourism, employment and awareness of the natural environment. Prior to development however, these disused corridors with time are often regained by wildlife, allowing the return of semi- natural vegetation and species transit through natural succession. Undisturbed, these conduits may serve an important role in the landscape, providing and connecting habitats for a wide range of species.
This project will research the interactions between Greenways and the natural environment, in order to investigate their potential roles as ecological corridors and networks. Patches serving as habitats or stepping stones, and corridor links will be identified using existing data, satellite based imagery and field studies along the proposed route of the disused Sligo, Leitrim, Northern Counties Railway (SLNCR) rail to trail (Greenway) project. This will build an understanding of the proposed route’s ecological structure and function. The project will also examine the Great Western Greenway as an in depth case study and other best practices observed in Europe.
The result will be the development of recommendations which can inform the development of Greenway Best Practice guidance and the realisation of Greenways as sustainable tourism projects.
Centre for Environmental Research Innovation and Sustainability (CERIS), Ash Lane, Sligo.