Sport Ireland Outdoors has announced the launch of the online Introduction to Walking Trail Planning course.
The course, previously an in person training course, aims to introduce learners to a range of considerations, tools and methods which can be used to plan sustainable and enjoyable walking trails.
Interest in outdoor recreation in Ireland has grown significantly in recent years with walking, cycling and water-based trails now being developed throughout the country. The Covid-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of outdoor recreation with unprecedented numbers of people turning to recreational walking. Participant numbers in cycling, open water swimming and running have also increased further highlighting the need to develop top class recreational infrastructure to maximise recreation opportunities in the natural environment.
The Introduction to Walking Trail Planning is suitable for anybody with an interest in trails and the outdoors, particularly those who work in trail development including State Bodies, Local Authorities, Trail Managers and those who approve funding for trails projects. The course is also suitable for community groups who have identified a trail and wish to develop it for inclusion on the trails register.
Participants will learn how to use a logical Trail Planning Process to guide the development of sustainable & enjoyable walking trails in Ireland; will develop an awareness of the importance of addressing key issues such as land ownership and access, insurance, environment, ecology and heritage as part of the trail planning process and learn how to develop sustainable and viable trails by focusing on the determination of location, route, target users and trail type.
Speaking about the upcoming courses, Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said:
“Sport Ireland places a particular emphasis on encouraging physical activity in the outdoors and this course offers a high class training opportunity to those with responsibility and interest in trail development. Over the past year, we have turned to the outdoors more than ever before and it is important that we maintain this momentum. We must work together to develop facilities so that we can all enjoy the benefit of sport and physical activity outdoors”.
Dr. Una May, Director of Participation and Ethics, Sport Ireland added:
“It is great to see this training course open up again online. It has been a very popular course, giving people an introduction to walking trial planning and empowering people involved in trail development and community groups to further their knowledge to the benefit of their communities. I would encourage anyone with an interst in trails and trail development to sign up and take part. We all appreciate the outdoors so much more after the past year and we have a responsibility to develop it in a sustainable and respectful way”.
The one-day course is run by trained Sport Ireland Outdoors tutors and registration is available on www.sportireland.ie/outdoors/training-courses
Course Registration is open: