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Operation underway to recover hiking trails in north Catalonia

Ten workers employed in Alt Urgell region to clean up paths to be included in walking route network

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05 March 2018 01:26 PM

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ACN | Alàs i Cerc

In the Catalan region of Alt Urgell, sharing a border with Andorra in the north of the country, a new initiative is underway to recover historical paths in order to open up new hiking trails. The local council for the area has contracted ten people via the programme Work and Training (promoted by Catalonia’s Employment Service) to carry out the task of opening and cleaning up various old and historic routes around Alt Urgell.

Once the paths are recovered, they will be included in the hiking route network, and will be promoted as trails for walking and sightseeing. The clean-up project is expected to last until the start of 2019.

The coordinator of the program in the area, Marc Segarra, explained that it was necessary to carry out fieldwork prior to starting work. "Little by little you are rediscovering the stone margin and that gives you satisfaction because you are seeing the old path and it is as if you were discovering a treasure," he said.

Trails worth recovering

Most of the ten people carrying out the clean-up are around 55 years of age and were out of work. One of the workers involved in the operation, Jesús Pampalona, who was previously unemployed for six months, believes that it is “worth recovering” the paths, and that “nobody worried about them” before.

Pampalona explained how his previous job wasn’t at all similar to this one, however he hasn’t found it hard to adapt as he is working “in the middle of nature” and believes people of his age “are made to do everything.”

Investing in the future

The Alt Urgell council will also invest around 827,000 euros over the coming months in 14 operations to improve public paths giving access to various towns in the area.

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  • Worker clearing path in Alt Urgell region (by ACN)

  • Worker clearing path in Alt Urgell region (by ACN)