Strategic Priorities

To achieve success, we will focus on delivering the following strategic priorities:

1.  Championing the Outdoors

Aim: There is increased awareness of the benefits that outdoor recreation brings to individuals, communities and Northern Ireland as a whole and an increased focus on the importance of outdoor recreation within policy and practice at both national and local levels.

We will:

  • proactively communicate our vision and objectives to key stakeholders to increase awareness of our role, the support we offer and the benefits of outdoor recreation champion the need for strategic outdoor recreation research which accurately measures the value and benefits of outdoor recreation
  • champion the need for the prominence of outdoor recreation within the Programme for Government and key national and regional strategies, policies and funding programmes
  • champion the need for a cross-departmental Walking Strategy / Action Plan which will establish a culture of walking in Northern Ireland
  • champion the need for an ‘Outdoor Recreation Bill’ which will provide opportunities to meet the growing demand
    for outdoor recreation
  • champion the need for all Councils to be mandated and resourced to implement a Community Trail Plan

2.  Delivering Training and Sharing Best Practice

Aim: The outdoor recreation sector is better equipped to plan, deliver, manage and promote outdoor recreation initiatives to a high standard. There is an increasing focus on innovative, sustainable and participant-led approaches to outdoor recreation.

We will:

  • deliver an annual training programme which meets the needs of the outdoor recreation sector in Northern Ireland
  • develop and update resources and guidelines to inform good practice approaches to the planning, development, management and promotion of outdoor recreation
  • communicate key industry insights and learnings via our online ‘Outdoor Recreation Hub’
  • act as a conduit for key learnings from the industry networks such as Visitor Safety Group and Outdoor Recreation Network
  • maximise the learning benefits of engaging with industry counterparts in Great Britain and Ireland
  • invest in staff training to ensure we continue to stay ahead of industry trends

3.  Planning and Developing Quality Experiences 

Aim: A wide range of high quality, sustainable and participant-focused outdoor recreation experiences allowing people to connect and engage with nature are in place across Northern Ireland.

We will:

  • inform the development of outdoor recreation experiences through the delivery of strategies, masterplans, feasibility studies, scoping studies and trail designs
  • ensure innovation and quality is at the forefront of the outdoor recreation experiences we deliver on the ground. As a minimum these will include:
    – community trail networks
    – recreation trails – walking, off-road cycling, mountain biking and water
    – nature / adventure play
    – iconic activity tourism focused visitor experiences
    – holistic outdoor recreation experiences combining products with visitor services in relevant forests and sites

4.  Increasing Awareness

Aim: A consistently high level of accurate information on outdoor recreation is widely available, leading to an increased awareness
of outdoor recreation opportunities by both the local population and visitors to Northern Ireland

We will: 

  • deliver our own high quality innovative websites and marketing initiatives
  • work in partnership with others to plan and deliver high quality innovative outdoor recreation focused marketing initiatives

5.  Widening, Increasing and Sustaining Participation 

Aim: The number of people participating in outdoor recreation in Northern Ireland continues to rise.

We will:

  • champion the need for a new led-walking scheme for Northern Ireland which will encourage insufficiently active people to walk in their local community
  • engage with others to develop and support programmes which increase sustained participation in outdoor recreation

Download Full Strategy

ORNI Summary Strategy