8.2.1 Regional Parks
8.2.1 Regional Parks
The County hosts a number of regional-scale facilities, such as the Castle Park, Castlecomer Demesne, the River Nore Linear Park and Woodstock Estate in Inistioge.
220.127.116.11 Castle Park
The Castle Park is located in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle and is about 50 acres in extent. It contains a playground and is extensively used for walking, running and passive amenity. It is a significant piece of green infrastructure within the City and environs. It is in State ownership and is operated by the Office of Public Work.
18.104.22.168 River Nore Linear Park
The Nore Linear Park provides a network of footpaths and cycleways along the river in the City and Environs combined with a sequence of high-quality public spaces, which is a significant recreational and biodiversity asset to the city. Within the City, a walk between Talbotsinch and Ossory Bridge has been developed and upgraded to make it accessible to all users, including cyclists, people with disabilities and people using buggies. Two pedestrian bridges provide access across the river: the Ossory Pedestrian Bridge under the Ossory Road Bridge to the west of the City, and The Lady Desart Bridge along Bateman Quay in the city centre. The provision of a third pedestrian bridge at Talbotsinch would connect the River Nore Linear Park to the Bleach Road and the northeastern area of the City.
The part of the Nore Linear Park that runs through the Abbey Quarter is being developed at present, known as the Riverside Park. A boardwalk will also be provided along Greensbridge, which will connect the southern Nore Linear Park, to the northern element, through the Abbey Quarter Riverside Linear Park. The Nore Linear Park also connects with countryside riverside trails to the south, and this is the starting point of the Nore Valley Walk (See Section 8.3 Trails, Walkways).
The Council is currently engaged in developing a recreational and biodiversity park on the site of the now closed municipal landfill at Dunmore, adjacent to the Civic Amenity Site and the training facility for Kilkenny GAA. This Park can be accessed from the existing public roads; the Castlecomer Road, N77 and the Bleach Road. It is an objective to provide for pedestrian and cycle access to the facility utilising the River Nore Linear Park. A pedestrian bridge at Talbotsinch would provide connectivity from the western side of the City to the linear park and then onto the proposed biodiversity park.
22.214.171.124 The Breagagh and Pococke River Corridors
The Breagagh River corridor, from the Water Barrack (westwards and southwards) is designated open space for most of its course and has the potential to be developed as a regional open space providing links from the Western Environs to the City.
Sections of the Pococke River to the east of the city centre are designated open space. There is potential to link the Pococke open space areas back to the existing residential developments and the River Nore walking route/River Nore Linear Park.
The Council will seek to establish public parks along the Pococke and Breagagh Rivers subject to resources and finances.
The River Nore is the principal river flowing through Kilkenny City, and together with the River Breagagh and River Pococke, offer significant opportunities for recreational opportunities both water and landside, including an interconnecting network of routes for walking and cycling which also provide access for water-sports such as swimming, angling, boating, kayaking and nature trails amongst others. Routes along the river have the potential to connect to other trails – such as walking, cycling and driving trails in the county and routes along the River Nore have been extended out of Kilkenny city to link with routes in the countryside. The River Nore and Pococke River form part of the Natura 2000 network (see Section 126.96.36.199 European Sites (Natura 2000)).
The Council will promote the natural amenity potential of the River Nore, River Breagagh and Pococke River in order to facilitate the development of amenity, recreational, biodiversity and tourism benefits for the city, and will work with agencies and communities to improve access and facilities along the rivers in appropriate locations subject to the availability of resources.
Regional Park Objectives:
8A To develop a recreational and biodiversity park on the site of the now closed municipal landfill at Dunmore.
8B To progress plans for the provision of a pedestrian bridge upstream of Greens Bridge including the provision of access along the eastern bank of the river up from Greensbridge, to the proposed bio-diversity park at Dunmore as part of the River Nore Linear Park.
8C Construction of a Boardwalk at Greensbridge to link the River Nore Riverside Walk at Riverside Drive with the new Riverside Linear Park in the Abbey Quarter and onwards to the Canal Walk
8D To undertake a feasibility study to determine the optimal location for, and to develop, a water sports hub on the River Nore
8E To provide a pedestrian crossing along the northern side of Greens Bridge