Valuing Freedom and Risk in the Outdoors – March 2014

28th August 2015

We delivered the ‘Valuing  Freedom and Risk in the Outdoors Seminar’ on Friday 28th February 2014 at Glenavon Hotel, Cookstown.

The half day seminar examined:
– the philosophy behind valuing freedom and risk in the outdoors
– the guiding principles for those inviting visitors onto their site to make sure that whilst they are safe their sense of freedom or adventure is not diminished
– the day to day protocols that should be in place for managing purpose built mountain biking trails and natural outdoor play areas

Presentations are available to download from the links below:


Valuing Freedom and Risk in the Outdoors – Professor David Ball
David is the professor of Risk Management and Co-Director of the Centre for Decision Analysis and Risk Management, School of Health and Social Sciences. He has been influential in the thinking on risk benefit analysis – particularly with respect to public places

Managing Visitor Safety in the Outdoor – the guiding principles – Paddy Harrop Forestry Commission

Visitors should be aware of all the risks they face when using the outdoors for recreation and have the chance to decide whether or not to accept them.

Mountain Biking Workshop – Paul Hawkins

A representative from Forestry Commission outlined approaches to managing risk in mountain bike trail centres including practical advice and protocols on managing and maintaining purpose built mountain bike trails on a day to day basis.

Natural Play Workshop – Balancing Play with Risk – Andy Norris, Moors Valley Country Park 

60% of all visitors to Moors Valley Country Park go to experience the Play Trail. Andy outlined how they manage risk within this diverse range of natural play stations – dealing with the balance of play value and safety and the importance of exposing young people to risk. Includes practical advice and protocols on managing and maintaining unconventional outdoor play pieces (large and small) on a day to day basis.

Risk Benefit Analysis Workshop – a practical application – Mike McClure SportNI 

Tollymore National Outdoor Centre runs skills and leadership courses for a range of outdoor adventure sports. At Tollymore achievement and success of participants overcoming challenges and difficulties that involve genuine risks in the natural environment is encouraged and celebrated. Therefore the centre does not analyse risks in isolation but very much consider the benefits of participating in these activities and exposing people to risk. This workshop focused on how that is achieved while working within the Health & Safety at Work Regulations (NI) 1992