New survey highlights importance of accessing outdoors safely during COVID 19.

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Engaging with the outdoors during Covid 19 Lockdown in Northern Ireland

A survey conducted by our parent company Outdoor Recreation NI measured how the population was engaging with the outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdown period, the benefits obtained, issues encountered and expectations for the future.

‘Engaging the Outdoors during COVID-19 Lockdown in Northern Ireland’ – Detailed Report

‘Engaging the Outdoors during COVID-19 Lockdown in Northern Ireland – Infographic

As part of the survey Outdoor Recreation NI asked respondents to submit their thoughts on how they engaged with the outdoors during the COVID-19 lockdown via video testimonial. These videos outline the benefits obtained, issues encountered and expectations for the future.

Next Steps:

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland is calling for:

All Councils to be mandated and resourced to develop and implement a Community Trail Plan

Community Trail Plans are a method of delivering quality outdoor ‘doorstep’ opportunities resulting in more people engaging with the outdoors, more regularly, and in a more environmentally sustainable way. It is a concept already successfully adopted in other jurisdictions under legislation (e.g. Scotland’s Core Path Network). ORNI has already piloted such an approach in parts of Newry, Mourne and Down, the Ards Peninsula and Fermanagh.

Bunkers Hill in Castlewellan and Darkley Forest are just a few examples of community trails on the ground.

Support for a single coordinated led-walking programme for Northern Ireland

Walking for All is aimed at improving the health and wellbeing outcomes of those who are least active in Northern Ireland. The programme has been fully developed through partnership working with the Public Health Agency, Local Councils, Health Trusts and Sport NI. We are now seeking support for the delivery of Walking for All as a single co-ordinated led-walking programme across Northern Ireland