ORNI (formerly the Countryside Access and Activities Network) was established in 1999 by Sport NI and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in response to Northern Ireland’s first Countryside Recreation Strategy in 1998. In recent years, we have transformed from an entirely core funded position to now deliver our strategic not-for-profit role under a number of new arrangements including delivering for Strategic Partnerships, Consortia, Service Level Agreements and on a project by project basis throughout Northern Ireland and increasingly the Republic of Ireland.
- supporting partnerships and sharing best practice
- developing local mountain biking trails and community trail networks
- increasing opportunities to volunteer
- employing innovative approaches to provide information on outdoor recreation opportunities, particularly to disadvantaged groups
- improved recognition of how outdoor recreation can deliver on the draft PfG outcomes and government strategies
- outdoor recreation mapping and assessment of demand and value
- visitor monitoring / data collection and reporting
- coordination and dissemination of information among the outdoor recreation sector in Northern Ireland
- providing clear information of what people can do near to where they live
- volunteering programme
- identify, plan and develop a community trails to provide 'doorstep walking' opportunities in a rural community
- promotion of environmental responsibility and good practice
Service Level Agreements
We proactively engage with local councils in Northern Ireland to establish Service Level Agreements. These allow us target our dedicated expertise to enable councils to achieve their outdoor recreation potential. Current Service Level Agreements include:
- Delivery of MountainBikeNI.com Consortium
- Delivery of WalkNI.com Consortium
- Community Trail Plan Planning and Development
We will continue to identify opportunities where the establishment and facilitation of a consortium is the most viable and cost-effective delivery approach for developing, managing and marketing specific projects. We currently deliver the MountainBikeNI Consortium and WalkNI Marketing Consortium which are partnerships between a range of local councils with the aim to increase local participation and to drive tourism via the respective activities.
Walking for All
The Walking for All Project aims to create one well resourced walking scheme for Northern Ireland aimed at getting those who are inactive more active in order to improve their health and wellbeing. Sport NI and Public Health Agency PHA have come together to form a partnership to develop a single coordinated led-walking programme for Northern Ireland with a provisional title of Walking For All. ORNI’s role is to complete elements of the research, compile materials and deliver events for the partnership.
ORNI delivers secretariat services to both the Outdoor Recreation Network, Visitor Safety Group (both UK and Ireland wide networks) and the National Outdoor Recreation Forum in Northern Ireland. These roles involve organising best practice workshop / seminar / conferences, membership liaison / communication, secretariat to executive committees and finance / administration.
Project by Project
We will continue to apply for tenders, submit quotations and seek funding programmes via the public, private and voluntary / community sectors to deliver projects which support the delivery of our key strategic priorities. The delivery of this work includes projects in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.