Posts tagged with: 'Eden'

Greenway is a Winner at EU’s EDEN 2011.

Last autumn, I wrote a post about the EU’s EDEN project, or European Destinations of ExcelleNce. Do please take a look back at my post of August 2010 here, regarding this EU initiative to support sustainable tourism destinations.

The 2011 EDEN Award focuses on the regeneration of physical sites. The rewarded destinations are those that have taken a physical site of local heritage (e.g. a piece of industrial or transport infrastructure, or a military site) and converted it into a sustainable tourism attraction for locals and tourists alike.

The Great Western Greenway has been named a winner this year. Congratulations to all and thank you to the landowners who bought into the concept. Hopefully, those who have thus far refused to allow the track across their land might have a change of mind.

In a press release, Fáilte Ireland writes that

” The Great Western Greenway in County Mayo has been named as the Irish winner of this year’s “European Destination of Excellence” (EDEN) award.

The theme of the 2011 competition was ‘Tourism and the Regeneration of Physical Sites’ and the Greenway was chosen following a comprehensive examination of a number of contenders, including on-site assessments by a panel of expert adjudicators.   

The EDEN award is part of an EU-wide competition designed to encourage and promote a more sustainable form of tourism development.

The Greenway was announced as the ultimate winner last week following a shortlisting of finalists, which also included the Arigna Mining Experience, Co. Roscommon and the Lough Boora Lakelands, Co. Offaly. ”

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The EU’s EDEN Project

The EDEN Project (European Destinations of ExcelleNce), run by the European Commission, promotes lesser-known nature tourism destinations in the EU to the general public. The EDEN project is dedicated to letting people know about hidden ‘gems’  in Europe and promoting sustainable, ‘green’ tourism.

After all, there’s more to Europe than the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Colosseum!

Each year, a specific theme is selected and in 2010 it was ‘aquatic tourism’. Some 25 destinations were chosen as winners and these are listed below :

Austria  ‘Seelentium’

Belgium  ‘The lakes of Eau d’Heure’

Bulgaria  ‘Regional Administration Silistra’

Croatia  ‘Nin’

Cyprus  ‘Kato Pyrgos’

Czech Republic  ‘Bystřicko’

Estonia  ‘Lake Võrtsjärv’

Finland  ‘Saimaa Holiday’

France  ‘The Grand Site du Marais Poitevin’

Germany  ‘Western Pomeranian River District’

Greece  ‘Prefecture of Serres’

Hungary  ‘Lake Tisza’

Iceland  ‘The Westfjords region’

Ireland  Loop Head Peninsula in Co. Clare’ (West of Ireland)

Italy  ‘Municipality of Monte Isola’

Latvia  ‘Sea Resort Jurmala’

Lithuania  ‘Zarasai Region – Heavenly Shore on Earth’

Luxembourg  ‘The nature park of the Upper Sûre’

Malta  ‘Isla (Senglea)’

Netherlands  ‘WaterReijk Weerribben Wieden’

Poland  The Biebrza Valley and Wetlands – Wildlife Sanctuary

I lead a small group of nature and wildlife-loving walkers to Biebrza National Park during springtime. Check out the details of our next walking and wildlife spotting trip to Poland.

EDEN Project - Biebrza NP

Biebrza NP, Poland

Romania  ‘Geoagiu Bai’

Slovenia  ‘River Kolpa’

Spain  ‘A Guarda’

Turkey  ‘Bitlis – Nemrut Crater Lake’

EDEN Project Winners

Find out more about EDEN and past winners.

Indeed, Ireland’s various winners over the years have been grouped together under a single website promoting each of them as alternative tourism destinations. Check it out at Ireland’s Eden. Past winners include Mayo’s own Mulranny, a beautiful little village on the northern shore of Clew Bay. Mulranny is a stopover on the hugely successful Great Western Greenway, a mostly off-road walking and cycling track laid down on a disused railway from Westport to Achill.

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