LOW cloud hampered Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s work on Cuilcagh Mountain for a period after a helicopter from Scotland tasked with transporting materials worth over £5,500 to the plateau was stood down and the crew were put up in accommodation paid for by the rate payer.
A company that supplies helicopter sling lift services was contracted by the Council to transport equipment and bulky materials to the plateau at Legnabrocky in Florencecourt on April 11, however weather conditions were unsuitable until April 13.
A spokesman for the Council said the total cost of the helicopter transportation of materials was £5,570 “with provision in the contract for delays.”
“The total cost to Fermanagh and Omagh District Council of the delays is £860 of which £600 is accommodation costs for the helicopter crew,” he said.
The spokesman said the materials and equipment transported by the helicopter are required in order to carry out “essential and urgent works” targeted at “managing and limiting the environmental impact of the large number of walkers climbing Cuilcagh.”
“These works include construction of a rest area at the end of the boardwalk,” he said. 
Last September The Impartial Reporter reported how an influx in visitors to Cuilcagh since 2016 has caused severe damage and large scale erosion to the natural habitat with experts warning that it would only get worse.
At 2,188 feet above sea level Cuilcagh at is one of the flagship sites in the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, and its popular wooden board walk is attracting thousands of people to the 2,500 hectare site every day.
But with as many as 3,000 people in one weekend last year alone the Cuilcagh board walk, which is managed by the Council, has become a victim of its own success.