Dr Caro-lynne Ferris OBE

Dr Caro-lynne Ferris OBE

Executive Director


02890 303 930

With over 20 years’ experience, Caro-lynne is widely recognised as one of the key drivers within the outdoor recreation sector in UK and Ireland. She is a champion of sustainable development and management, ensuring that people can enjoy the outdoors today whilst considering the need to protect the outdoor environment for future generations.

Caro-lynne was Outdoor Recreation NI’s first employee and has successfully grown both the organisation and its outputs through effective leadership and proactive relationship building with a wide range of stakeholders.

Caro-lynne drives our vision and strategy whilst keeping a keen eye on the day to day delivery of projects for our clients.

In her spare time Caro-lynne can be found in the mountains walking, running, mountain biking and skiing. She is well known for her love of tea and buns both before, after (and sometimes in the middle) of training sessions!

Aideen Exley

Aideen Exley

Marketing Manager


02890 303 931

Aideen gained significant experience working for major blue chip companies in England before returning to Northern Ireland to combine her marketing knowledge with a passion for the outdoors.

Aideen currently leads on strategic marketing projects and helps our clients apply a consumer focus to their projects, as well as leading our ‘Walking in Your Community’ project.

Aideen’s key projects have included the creation and management of WalkNI.com, the inception of the Giant’s Causeway Coast Cycling Sportive and the brand development of Get Outdoors Weekend.

Outside work, Aideen dabbles in trail running and 10ks.  She spends her weekends dragging her two young kids up hills and biking but all that fresh air means peace to enjoy a well-earned break on a Saturday night!

Chris Scott

Chris Scott

Business Development Manager


02890 306 940

With over a decade working in the outdoor recreation sector, Chris is able to apply his significant experience and varied knowledge of digital marketing, brand management, visitor interpretation and product development to ensure our clients maximise their investments and achieve their objectives.

When not boring everyone about his little son’s latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and running, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon.

Clare Jones

Clare Jones

Product Development Manager (Currently on Maternity Leave)


02890 306 946

During Clare’s 10+ year tenure as Product Development Manager she has secured funding for and masterminded the development of an impressive portfolio of projects. This includes the 75kms of mountain biking trails at Castlewellan and Rostrevor, the 35kms of multi-use trails at Castle Ward and the mountain biking and walking trails in Blessingbourne Estate.

Clare’s expertise lies with strategic development and management of outdoor recreation. She was responsible for the publication in 2013 of ‘Principles and Standards for Trail Development in Northern Ireland’ and in 2014 for the ‘Mountain Bike Strategy for Northern Ireland 2014-2024’.

A keen mountain biker, Clare regularly rides the trails in Northern Ireland and further afield. A recent convert to road cycling, she also spends time peddling the roads. When not biking, Clare also enjoys family holidays in their recently converted camper van, gardening and looking after the family smallholding in Co.Down.

Sylvia Watson

Sylvia Watson

Office Manager


02890 303 930

Sylvia is responsible for keeping Outdoor Recreation NI’s office running as smoothly as possible, covering everything from admin, HR, finance and IT to making sure there is enough coffee!

When not buried under piles of invoices, Sylvia enjoys walking, sampling all sorts of different foods on her travels and a nice glass of prosecco!

Sarah Noble

Sarah Noble

Senior Product Development Officer (Currently on Maternity Leave)


02890 303 932

With a decade’s experience working in outdoor education across the UK prior to joining the team, Sarah brings valuable insight and an extensive knowledge of outdoor recreation to each project, helping clients determine the specification of product required but also the future management considerations.

Sarah has led on the development of a wide variety of projects from mountain bike trails to canoe trails, including Port Moon and Trannish Island Bothies.

Sarah is passionate about outdoor adventure and is an all-rounder in the outdoors, albeit participating at the less extreme end these days with 2 young children on tow!

Fiona Milne

Fiona Milne

Product Development Officer


02890 303 939

During her 3 year spell at Outdoor Recreation NI, Fiona has utilised her project management, consultation, report writing and GIS mapping skills to lead on a significant portfolio of feasibility studies, destination action plans, forest scoping studies and spatial Master Plans for a range of clients.

Fiona has also become our expert in nature and adventure play, researching best practice from around the UK and executing several projects in Northern Ireland’s parks and forests.  She has also experience of full service project delivery e.g. the development of the multi use trail network at Tobar Mhuire.

As well as providing colleagues with eggs from her free range hens, Fiona also enjoys setting off in her campervan for weekends away, sailing and biking with the girls.

Diane Crookes

Diane Crookes

Product Development Officer


02890 303 934

Diane holds an MSc in Conservation which allows her to bring an insightful knowledge of environmental conservation to our projects, ensuring our work remains sensitive to the environments and landscapes in which we operate.

Diane is our walking product specialist, working with partners to develop and promote Northern Ireland’s Ulster Way, long-distance Waymarked Ways and ‘quality’ walks.  She also manages our Volunteer Ranger scheme, co-ordinating over 150 volunteers who audit 1000km+ of walking trails and 400km+ of canoe trails across Northern Ireland. Diane has also undertaken for a number of clients a wide range of scoping and feasibility studies and has experience of full service project delivery e.g. the development of a network of multi-use trails at Beech Hill House.

Diane enjoys getting back to nature in her spare time by travelling, camping and walking with family and friends.

Beverley Pierson

Beverley Pierson

Senior Marketing Account Manager


02890 303 938

Beverley has nearly a decade of marketing and event management experience making her ideally placed to deliver for our clients in both areas.

Beverley’s practical experience in traditional advertising, digital marketing and PR has been demonstrated through the execution of several successful multi-channel marketing campaigns for major events such as the Get Outdoors Weekend and Northern Ireland Adventureland Weekend.

Her seasoned event management skills are annually employed to both promote and manage the delivery of the award winning Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, which has grown in the last few years to one of the largest in Northern Ireland.

At the weekends you’ll almost certainly find Beverley on her bike, either with her local club cycling (slowly) up the hills throughout County Down countryside, exploring other parts of the country or participating in a cycling event.

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Marketing Account Officer


02890 306 942

Sarah is our digital marketing expert, both developing and delivering the digital marketing plans for our key consumer websites OutdoorNI.com and WalkNI.com as well as those of our clients.

Sarah has a passion for content marketing and is able to combine her copy-writing skills and an eye for a good photo to create engaging e-zines, blogs and social media content for our clients.

She has a passion for travelling, music and chocolate biscuits and can often be found sampling Belfast’s latest bars and restaurants with friends before working off her indulgences on a run or hike with her local Duke of Edinburgh Award Group.

Claire Overend

Claire Overend

Active Clubs Coordinator for Walking


02890 306 944

Claire drives the Walking in Your Community project, an initiative to encourage people throughout Northern Ireland to get walking in their local area.  By utilising her people skills nurtured from her extensive background in youth and community work, Claire recruits, trains and mentors participants to maximise their potential.

Claire also delivers our best practice training seminars to ensure the outdoor recreation sector in Northern Ireland is kept abreast of issues and trends.

In her spare time Claire enjoys mountain biking and snowboarding, also getting out into the hills and exploring the countryside with friends and family, which is now much more of an adventure with twin babies in tow!

Jayne Woodrow

Jayne Woodrow

Marketing Account Executive


02890 306 947

Jayne uses all her energy and drive to juggle two diverse roles.

Jayne is responsible for all communications relating to the Walking in Your Community Project and assisting in delivering the digital marketing plans of our consumer websites.  As the youngest member of the team, Jayne keeps us abreast of all the latest trends in social media.

In her spare time Jayne enjoys getting out for walks in search of her next Instagram photo as well as heading to gigs and culture events in the city with friends. With a slight addiction to Pinterest she can often be found behind her sewing machine stitching together the latest idea.

Jonathan Small

Jonathan Small

GIS Technician


02890 303 935

Jonathan is our new in-house GIS Technician providing day-to-day GIS and mapping support to the Product Development Team. Experienced in ESRI ArcGIS software, Jonathan creates and manages file geodatabases, carries out metadata maintenance and manages our Spatial NI account. Jonathan holds a MSci degree in GIS and Cultural Heritage from Queen’s University Belfast.

When not mapping for our latest project, Jonathan enjoys exploring the outdoors, especially the Mourne Mountains and North Coast, and reading a good book.

Ethan Loughrey

Ethan Loughrey

Digital and Marketing Officer


02890 306 941

Ethan is another new recruit to the Outdoor Recreation NI team. He has 5 years’ experience in marketing and brings all that is innovative in Mountain Biking to his role. Indeed, Ethan is responsible for encouraging the development of mountain biking tourism in Northern Ireland and using his digital knowledge and skills to devise and deliver captivating digital campaigns for this action packed sector.

Ethan enjoys Geocaching in his spare time with his wife and dog, running, Irish dancing and reading.

Gemma Lyttle

Gemma Lyttle

Product Development Officer


02890 306 943

Gemma is one of our latest recruits to join the Development Team at Outdoor Recreation NI. With a background in advertising and research Gemma has worked with various Northern Ireland government departments including Department for Infrastructure and DAERA. She brings with her valuable project management experience and is currently responsible for the delivery of strategic plans for our Public Sector clients.

Gemma enjoys getting out and about with her family, packing everyone up and exploring her favourite spot – the North Coast.

Duane Fitzsimons

Duane Fitzsimons

Administrative Assistant


Duane provides support to the marketing, business and product development teams. He joins us coming from a background in the charity and voluntary sector. Over the last five years, his previous roles have had a focus on built and natural heritage.

A tour guide in his spare time Duane refers to this as his ‘paying hobby’. He loves nothing better than a good bit of folklore and is even a published author. At weekends, you can find him leading groups around different sections of the Lecale Way on a cross country walk.