More People, More Active, More Often
More People, More Active, More Often

Public Consultation on a National Strategy on Outdoor Recreation

National Outdoor Recreation Strategy

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. It is expected that the Strategy will be launched later this year.

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.

The first public consultation on this Strategy was carried out in July 2021 and there was a very positive engagement with over 2,100 responses. In Phase 1, we gathered your views on key themes in outdoor recreation to help develop the Strategy. We received positive feedback from you on the proposed Strategy vision, mission and values. This feedback has shaped the strategy development and now the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys, has launched a second public consultation seeking the views of the public on proposed objectives and actions for 6 key themes.

What is Outdoor Recreation?

By ‘outdoor recreation’, we mean physical activities that take place in the natural environment, such as walking, canoeing, mountain biking, orienteering and wild swimming.

Land-Based Water-Based Air-Based
Walking Canoeing/Kayaking Paragliding
Hillwalking/Hiking Rowing Hang-gliding
Leisure cycling Wild swimming
Mountain biking Surfing
Horse riding Coasteering
Trail / mountain / road running Wind surfing/Kite surfing
Orienteering Sailing
Bouldering, scrambling, rock climbing, mountaineering Diving
Caving Angling
Natural Play Stand Up Paddleboarding
Passive enjoyment of outdoors

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) except for ability assistance, or hunting and shooting as they do not fall within the remit of Comhairle na Tuaithe and therefore are not within the scope of this strategy.


The Strategy is being developed using a two-stage consultation process whereby interested stakeholders and individuals are encouraged to share their views on outdoor recreation.

Public Consultation Stage 1

Public consultation stage 1 gave an opportunity for input at the early stages of the development of the Strategy. The aim was to gather a broad range of views and shape the main themes of the Strategy. The response to Stage 1 was excellent and the feedback has been vital to the development of the draft strategy.

Public consultation stage 1 is now closed.

Public Consultation Stage 2

Public consultation stage 2 will now give the opportunity for input on the draft stages of the strategy including the vision, mission, values and overarching strategic objectives.

The aim is to gather feedback from a broad range of stakeholders and individuals interested in outdoor recreation before the strategy is finalised.

To share your views on the draft strategy objectives, please click on the link below and complete the online questionnaire.

For those who would like to submit their views by hard copy, please print the form here and complete the form and sent by post to:

Lèon Fox,
Department of Rural and Community Development,
Government Buildings,
Brook Street,
Co. Mayo, F26 E8N6

Further Information

Any questions on the consultation process can be emailed to

What will we do with your response?

Responses will inform the finalisation of the National Outdoor Recreation Strategy.