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.

Strategic Partners


As one of the organisations that proposed our establishment back in 1999, Sport NI continues to recognise us as a strategic partner to deliver on key objectives of Sport Matters: The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009-2019 and Our Great Outdoors: The Outdoor Recreation Action Plan for Northern Ireland 2013 -2020. Key areas of focus are:
  • 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
ORNI receives funding through NIEA's competitive Natural Environment Fund grant programme. Key areas of focus include
  • supporting partnerships
  • sharing best practice
  • raising environmental awareness
  • supporting the Ulster Way and long distance walking trails using volunteers
  • developing community trail networks
  • promoting local recreation opportunities across Northern Ireland particularly for walking and cycling
Tourism Northern Ireland provides funding to ORNI through its Strategic Partnership Grant Scheme. The key area of focus is to provide high quality and accurate content to DiscoverNorthernIreland.com.

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:


Key areas of focus:
  • Delivery of MountainBikeNI.com Consortium
  • Delivery of WalkNI.com Consortium
  • Community Trail Plan Planning and Development
Key areas of focus:
  • Development of Darkley Forest
  • Development of Gosford Forest Park
  • Rewrite and reprint of Blackwater Canoe Trail guide


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.

UFRC Active Clubs

Active Clubs is an investment programme developed and administered by Sport Northern Ireland, with funding from the National Lottery. Following a successful joint application from Outdoor Recreation NI and the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs the two organisations were granted funding for a four year period. Active Clubs, Walking in your Community and Walk @ parkrun are delivered by our Participation Team.

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.

Client List

We have an extensive list of clients throughout the island of Ireland: