Outdoor Recreation NI Conference and Strategy Launch

Happy and Healthy Communities: The Impact and Value of Being Active Outdoors

3rd March, 2021 at 10.30am

The conference will share the latest research on the importance of walking and being active outdoors to health and wellbeing – and how the population of Northern Ireland has been engaging with the outdoors over the past year, the benefits gained, and the barriers faced. The event will also launch Outdoor Recreation NI’s Strategic Plan 2020 – 2025 that outlines how we will realise our vision ‘to create a happier, healthier society where enjoyment and appreciation of the outdoor improves wellbeing’.

Drawing on good practice, the conference will also showcase three examples of projects where a community’s access to, participation in, and connection to nature has increased and the impact that this has had. There will also be breakout rooms to enable participants to share their own insights, reflections, and experiences on enabling communities to be active outdoors.

Course Content

Morning Session – Why Outdoor Recreation

Keynote Speaker: Why we need to walk and the outdoors – Professor Shane O’Mara, Trinity College Dublin

Research and Data: What the public are telling us? – Aideen Martin, Outdoor Recreation NI and Duncan Stewart, 56 Degree Insight

Launch of the Outdoor Recreation NI Strategic Plan 2020-2025 – Dawson Stelfox, Outdoor Recreation NI

Afternoon Session – Making it Happen

The value and impact of Darkley Community Trail – Willie Monaghan, Darkley Rural Community Group, Elizabeth Rogers and Claire Saunders, Outdoor Recreation NI

Gosford forest park: Masterplan to reality – Fiona Milne, Outdoor Recreation NI, Greg Ferson, Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and Aubrey Bingham, Disability Sport NI

Cuilcagh to Cleenish: Engaging with Community – Chris Scott, Outdoor Recreation NI, Barney Devine, Cleenish Community Association, Martina O’Neill, Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark and Paul Mullan, National Lottery Heritage Fund

Breakout Rooms
  1. Research and Policy: The way forward?
  2. Communicating the value of local trails and greenspace
  3. The benefits (and challenges) of Masterplanning
  4. Working and walking together: Local residents and landowners

Why Attend?

This conference will be of significant value to all stakeholders in Northern Ireland who have a role in shaping future outdoor recreation policy, strategy and programmes and developing / managing outdoor recreation sites and projects.



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