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Public asked to share views on improving outdoor spaces as part of National Outdoor Recreation Strategy

Asked to consider ways to enhance amenities such as trails, cycleways, waterways, beaches, mountains, bogs and forests



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3 June 2021

A public consultation on Ireland’s first ever National Outdoor Recreation Strategy has been launched. The delivery of the strategy is a key commitment in Our Rural Future, the government’s five-year policy to revitalise rural Ireland.

The consultation will last for three weeks and will involve members of the public giving their views on how best to improve and develop our outdoor amenities such as our trails, cycleways, waterways, beaches, mountains, bogs, and forests. The public have also been asked to consider ways to develop activity tourism and outdoor pursuits.

The strategy is being developed in partnership with Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council).

“Comhairle na Tuaithe has done much to support and facilitate the sustainable development of outdoor recreation in Ireland,” said Dr Liam Twomey, independent chair of Comhairle na Tuaithe. “The development of this strategy is vital to guide the work of Comhairle na Tuaithe and indeed the strategic development of the sector across government in the coming years. This consultation provides an opportunity for all to input on the future direction of the sector and I would encourage all stakeholders to participate in the consultation.”

“Covid-19 has shown us all how vital our outdoor amenities are for our mental and physical wellbeing,” said Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys. “Our new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy will be all about investing in our great outdoors. I want to get the views of as many members of the public and stakeholders on how best to develop our outdoor amenities such as our hiking trails, cycleways, rivers, forests, and mountains.

“Without doubt, outdoor recreation is going to be key to our recovery post-Covid-19,” continued Minister Humphreys. “So let’s think big and ambitious. I am delighted that Comhairle na Tuaithe are spearheading this work in conjunction with my Department. Above all, I want to see as many members of the public as possible submit their ideas over the next three weeks.”

This is the first stage of a two-stage consultation process. In the first stage, interested stakeholders and individuals are encouraged to share their views on outdoor recreation via an online questionnaire.

To input your views on outdoor recreation, please complete the online questionnaire. Responses will inform the preparation of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy for Ireland. The closing date for receipt of submissions is 23 June 2021.

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