The popular Laois Walks Festival has announced that they will defer their 2020 festival until later in the year due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
The 19th staging of the annual walking festival around the county was set to move to an earlier time this year.
Traditionally in July, the Laois Walks Festival was set to move to the month of June this year.
However, chairman Dominic Hartnett confirmed that this will now not happen.
He said: “The Laois Walks Festival will defer the 2020 loop walking festival to later in the year.
“The 19th festival was due to be held for the first time in the month of June to allow for a new approach to include a walking event on a weekly bases for the 5th and 6th classes of primary schools in the county.
“Walks each week were planned for mid-day in a mountain loop, a bog walk loop, a woodland walk loop and a canal/lake walk loop.
“However, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, we have taken the decision to postpone the event for now and revisit it in the coming months.”
With many people now remaining in their homes, Mr Hartnett wants to remind them that they can still get out for a walk in their own time on one of the 36 loops around the county.
However, he is encouraging anyone who plans to avail of these walks to do so safely.
He said: “For family walks we have loops in Abbeyleix bog and Ballinakill. Durrow has a riverside walk in Dunmore while so too does Mountmellick.
“Portlaoise and Mountmellick also have town routes while Portarlington, Stradbally and the canal between Vicarstown and Fisherstown are all fantastic routes,
“Longer loops with a higher grade and length from 8-16km can be found in Cullohill, Durrow, Abbeyleix, Portarlington, Mountrath, Clonaslee and other areas in and around the Slieve Bloom mountains.
“We are asking all families and walkers to remember that if the car park is full do not obstruct local access for landowners or householders.
“When you go walking, keep your two meter distance and when you return to the car do not to gather around to have a chat.
“Bring home all your waste, bring hand wipes for use in opening gates or using styles and stay safe. But get out and about no matter your age or ability.”
The committee hopes to be able to announce details of their rescheduled festival in the coming months.