Outdoor Event Planning Seminar – March 2019

3rd April 2019

We delivered the ‘Outdoor Event Planning Seminar’ on Tuesday 26th March 2019 at Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon, in association with Sport Northern Ireland and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

As the number of challenge, charity and fundraising events continue to increase within Northern Ireland’s natural environment, so too has the concern over the impacts on the very areas that they are using. These areas are not built for purpose and comprise a diverse collection of plants and animals set within sensitive landscapes, which are often privately owned and, in some cases, protected by statutory designations.

The aim of the seminar was to provide information, help and advice on staging responsible and sustainable outdoor challenge events in Northern Ireland’s natural environment. The half day seminar included presentations by representatives from a variety of organisations who drew on their own expertise and experiences:


  • Mike McClure (SportNI) – Mike provided the context and background to Outdoor Event Planning and looked at the need for the process and its development
  • Philip Weston (ORNI) – Philip introduced the new website (www.outdooreventplanning.com) and the Toolkit – outlining the recommended stages to develop and responsible and sustainable event in the outdoors.
  • Katie Taylor (National Trust) – Katie provided an insight into her experience of managing events within the Mournes area.
  • Matthew Bushby (Mourne Heritage Trust) – As a land manager, Matthew discussed his experience of engagement with event organisers and how it can help towards positive experiences for organisers and participants, whilst protecting the landscapes in which they are held. Alongside his colleagues (Peter Heaney and Jim Martin), he provided an insight into research conducted on the impact of events held in the Mournes.
  • Keith Finegan (NIEA) – Keith provided an introduction to legislation governing the protection of designated, natural sites and why it is important to manage the impact of events in these areas.

Following the presentations, workshops were held on how Outdoor Event Planning perceived by those who use it and how it can become more effective.

Downloads of the following presentations are available at the bottom of this page: