Donegal County Council has today launched a series of online public consultation workshops aimed at gathering your views on the first ever Outdoor Recreation Strategy for Donegal.
The purpose of the Outdoor Recreation Strategy for Donegal is to provide a roadmap informing the sustainable development and management of outdoor recreation over the next 5 years, whilst still preserving the ecological and culturally rich land and waterscape that is unique to Donegal, and upon which outdoor recreation depends.
Our Donegal landscape is distinctive, unique – synonymous with the identity of the county.
In more recent times we and the visitors we welcome have enjoyed hours outside in the great outdoors, and in this regard the development of this Strategy is important and timely in informing our decisions and future direction of outdoor recreation in the county.
The Strategy is funded by the LEADER programme through the Donegal Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) and Donegal County Council. Launching the consultation workshops today, Cllr Niamh Kennedy Chair of the LCDC said:
“The development of a Strategy for Outdoor Recreation for Donegal is timely. As Donegal people we are very proud of our county and particularly in more recent times, during Covid, when we have been spending more time outdoors I think we have come to appreciate more the value and really special quality of what we have, this consultation provides a platform for the people of Donegal to tell us about the recreational amenity across the county. These workshops are scheduled on a district basis which is great because we want to hear about the projects that are going on in your community, the development of walking trials, or bridal paths, or sea swimming.”
The Chief Executive of Donegal County Council, John G. McLaughlin added this Strategy will provide a mechanism for the delivery and implementation of the vision for the future development of Outdoor Recreation in Donegal and establish a defined framework for doing so.
He said “It will identify existing assets, a range of potential connections, improvements and new developments to consolidate and enhance outdoor recreation in Donegal. The management of our outdoor environment is a key priority for our Council tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests and this Strategy will go some way to inform the sustainable development of recreational amenity in Donegal which is necessary and welcome.”
The Strategy will be action focused, directed over the next 5 years, with an overall vision to 2040.
Leading out on the project the Director of Community Development, Liam Ward said “We have been working for some time in progressing this project working with communities and external stakeholders including for example Coillte, Donegal Sports Partnership and Failte Ireland and are delighted to have reached this stage of the process today.
“The development of the Strategy will be the result of an extensive participatory process which allows all relevant stakeholders to contribute to the process, and we want to hear what you have to say. Your input is crucial to the success of the Strategy. I know first-hand of the very powerful projects that communities are driving and delivering across the county, this Strategy will connect projects, communities and places. We are very excited about the future of Outdoor Recreation in the county, and look forward to hearing your thoughts on how we move forward.”
Outdoor Recreation NI ORNI have been appointed as the lead consultant to deliver the Donegal Outdoor Recreation Strategy and are working with the Community Development Division of the Council in developing the Strategy.
The Strategy in the first instance will be informed by an audit of all existing, proposed and potential future recreational amenity in Donegal.
To inform this first stage audit, Donegal County Council are hosting five online consultation events (one per municipal district) spread over 2 weeks to capture the views of local people in relation to both the quality of current provision and future opportunities for improvement for outdoor recreation in the county
The workshop dates are :
Inishowen Monday 31st January, 7.30-9.00pm
Glenties Tuesday 1st February, 7.30-9.00pm
Letterkenny Thursday 3rd February, 7.30-9.00pm
Stranorlar Tuesday 8th February, 7.30-9.00pm
Donegal Wednesday 9th February, 7.30-9.00pm
We want to hear from you.
Those interested are asked to register their attendance and preferred workshop by clicking on the link https://forms.office.com/r/Xme6ZDNvsW up to 24 hours before the event.
Individuals are welcome to attend more than one event, and a Zoom link for each will be issued on the day of each event.
An online questionnaire is also available to complete, accessible via https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/DonegalORS It will run from Tuesday 18th January 2022 to Tuesday 22nd February 2022.
For more information about the Strategy and the consultation workshops please visit https://www.donegalcoco.ie/community/outdoor%20recreation%20donegal/