Public Consultation on a National Strategy on Outdoor Recreation

 04 Jun 2021

A National Outdoor Recreation Strategy is currently being developed by Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council) in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development.

A National Outdoor Recreation Strategy is currently being developed by Comhairle na Tuaithe (The Countryside Council) in conjunction with the Department of Rural and Community Development. 

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, TD launched a public consultation seeking the views of stakeholders and the public to inform the Government’s new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy. Minister Humphreys said: 

Our outdoor amenities – like our hiking trails, cycle ways, rivers, forests and mountains – and the contribution which they make to our physical and mental wellbeing, have never been more appreciated than over the last year. Outdoor recreation is also going to play a valuable role in supporting Ireland’s future recovery as restrictions on movements are relaxed and the tourism sector fully re-opens. A cohesive National Outdoor Recreation Strategy has the capacity to benefit our economies, while also promoting responsible use of the countryside.

I am delighted that Comhairle na Tuaithe are leading on this work in conjunction with my Department

Read the full statement here

The strategy will provide a vision and an overarching framework for the growth and development of outdoor recreation in Ireland, creating a shared approach for the many strategies, programmes, agencies and elements in Ireland’s outdoor recreation sector. 

What is Outdoor Recreation? By ‘outdoor recreation’, we mean activities that take place in the natural environment, such as walking, canoeing, mountain biking, orienteering and wild swimming. It does not include activities that take place outdoors on confined courses or pitches (such as golf, football, show jumping) nor motorised activities (such as quads) 

Overview of Consultation There is a two-stage consultation process whereby interested stakeholders and individuals are encouraged to share their views on outdoor recreation. 

Stage 1 - This stage is currently open. 

Public consultation Stage 1 gives an opportunity for input at an early stage of the development of the Strategy. The aim is to gather a broad range of views and shape the main themes of the Strategy. 

Public consultation Stage 1 is now open. The closing date for submissions is 23 June 2021. 

To share your views on outdoor recreation, please click on the link here and complete the online questionaire. 

For those who would like to submit their views by hard copy, please print the form, complete it and send by post to Lèon Fox, Department of Rural and Community Development, Government Buildings, Brook Street, Ballina, Co.Mayo, F26 E8N6

Stage 2 - When a draft Strategy has been prepared, there will be a call for feedback on the document later this year. 

Public consultation Stage 2 is not yet open. At this stage of the public consultation, a draft Strategy document will be issued whereby interested stakeholders and individuals will be invited to give detailed feedback before the Strategy is finalised.

For further Information on the consultation process, please email here can be emailed to

What will we do with your response? Responses will inform the preparation of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy.

Data Protection We are committed to engaging with stakeholders in a clear, open and transparent manner. Any person or organisation can make a submission in relation to this consultation. All submissions and feedback will be considered before the final version of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy is published.

Please note that responses to this consultation are subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014 (FOI), Access to Information on the Environment Regulations 2007-2014 (AIE) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

In responding to this consultation, parties should clearly indicate where their responses contain personal information, commercially sensitive information or confidential information which they would not wish to be released under FOI, AIE or otherwise published.

We would like to draw your attention to the Department's Data Protection / Data Privacy Notice which is available on our website and explains how and when we collect personal data, why we do so and how we treat this information. It also explains your rights in relation to the collection of personal information and how you can exercise those rights.