An Independent member of Causeway Coast and Glens Council was successful in bringing a motion before the Leisure and Development committee to ensure Public Rights of Way are asserted at the Giants Causeway World Heritage Site.
Councillor Padraig McShane brought the motion after the National Trust attempted to assert ownership of the stones and paths beyond the grand Causeway itself.
The paths to be asserted will include the steep rising Sheppards Path. The paths leading beyond the grand Causeway and beyond the rock formation commonly referred to as the Organ. Also included is the cliff path from the Council’s car park to Dunseverick Harbour.
The Councillor stated, “Access to the Giants Causeway and the many different iconic parts of the site are free for the public to enjoy. This motion is designed to strengthen that position and the knowledge about the same. “Council acted immediately following the erecting of misleading signs at the site by writing to the National Trust in January 2017 to request an explanation. The Trust chose to ignore the Council for a number of months.
Since I submitted the motion the National Trust have rowed back from their previous position and have removed a number of signs. But Council will now press ahead and assert the Public Rights of Way – with or without the agreement of the National Trust. “I would commend all the members present who unanimously backed the motion.
In doing so they have given our countryside officers the strength to assert the Public Rights of Way at the World Heritage Site for the enjoyment of the General Public.”
Motion in full “ That this council under the access order have a duty to assert and protect all Public Rights of Way (PROW) within the Borough. It is our belief that the National Trust have erected signs at parts of the World Heritage Site that could mislead the public into believing they (the public) do not have a right of way to walk some of the most iconic parts of the site. We request this council under the access order fulfil their statutory duty, investigate and assert the PROW throughout the World Heritage Site.”