Strategic Priorities

In order to ensure a focus to our work, we will deliver on 6 key priorities as outlined in:

Strategy Front Cover

‘Making Northern Ireland’s Outdoors Great – A Strategic Plan for Outdoor Recreation in Northern Ireland 2015 – 2020

1.  Championing the Outdoors

We will proactively engage with the Northern Ireland Executive, MLAs, Departmental Committees, Local Authorities, Strategic Partners and other relevant influential stakeholders to achieve recognition of the significant role that outdoor recreation plays in contributing to health and well-being, social inclusion, community cohesion, volunteering, environmental protection and access, rural regeneration and economic development and the benefits it brings to individuals, communities and Northern Ireland’s society as a whole.  We will have succeeded if:

  • There is improved recognition of how outdoor recreation can deliver the key objectives of the Programme for Government and the strategies of Departmental and arm’s length bodies
  • Future policies, strategies and funding programmes reflect the importance of outdoor recreation
2.  Developing Partnerships and Promoting Best Practice

We will facilitate the development of partnerships, exchange of information, dissemination of best practice and give support in the widest sense to all organisations that have a direct or indirect involvement in the development, management and promotion of outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland.  We will have succeeded if there is:

  •  Improved partnership working among all bodies that have a direct or indirect involvement in the development, management and marketing of outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland, resulting in an increase in, and improved delivery of, sustainable outdoor recreation based programmes
  • Improved co-ordination and dissemination of good practice through tool-kits, seminars and training programmes to a wide range of organisations including local authorities and the private sector leading to more innovative approaches in the development, management and promotion of outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland
3.  Improving the Nation’s Health and Well-Being

We will improve the nation’s health and well-being by creating opportunities to widen, increase and sustain the number of local people actively participating in outdoor recreation activities across Northern Ireland.  We will have succeeded if:

  • There is increased confidence and skills in local community groups to deliver outdoor recreation opportunities within their local community
  • The number of local people participating in outdoor recreation continues to increase
  • There is a greater diversity in the people taking part in outdoor recreation activities
  • There are thriving and sustainable communities centred around outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland
4.  Empowering Volunteers

We will provide a wide range of opportunities to volunteer in outdoor recreation related activities across Northern Ireland. We will have succeeded if:

  • There is enhanced protection, care and management of the outdoor recreation resource across Northern Ireland
  • Outdoor recreation products can be confidently marketed to the local population and visitors alike
  • The number of volunteers continue to increase and those already participating in the programme are increasingly satisfied with being part of the programme
5.  Delivering and Managing Quality Outdoor Recreation Products

Through partnership working, we will deliver on the ground a suite of sustainable outdoor recreation products, geographically spread across Northern Ireland, which are effectively managed. We will have succeeded if there are:

  • Increased opportunities for outdoor recreation through activities such as walking, mountain biking, cycling and canoeing across Northern Ireland and increased levels of participation and user satisfaction in these products by both the local population and visitors. Specific initiatives will include:
    – the development and implementation of a new Walking Strategy for Northern Ireland
    – the delivery of key objectives within the Mountain Bike Strategy for Northern Ireland 2014 – 2024
    – the delivery of community trail networks across Northern Ireland
  • Increased nature/adventure play provision throughout Northern Ireland
  • Increased opportunities for adventure type recreation through the development of new facilities
  • Increased range of facilities available and accessible to a wider range of people
  • Increased opportunities for a ‘holistic outdoor recreation experience’ in a number of areas e.g. Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, sites and forests throughout Northern Ireland through the development of products and visitor services etc.
6.  Increasing Awareness of Outdoor Recreation Opportunities

We will increase the awareness of, participation in, and the economic benefit of outdoor recreation across Northern Ireland by both the local population and visitors through the employing innovative marketing techniques.  We will have succeeded if:

  • A consistently high level of accurate information on walking, mountain biking, adventure activities, canoeing and cycling is available to consumers at all times therefore leading to increased awareness of the opportunities to participate in these activities across Northern Ireland by both the local population and visitors
  • The economic value of outdoor recreation to Northern Ireland increases leading to growth and diversification in the economy and that there is improved recognition and understanding that outdoor recreation is an asset to the economy