Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, officially launched the Donegal Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023-2029 as part of her two-day visit to Donegal this week.
The project was launched at Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre.
The county wide strategy which will guide and facilitate the sustainable development and management of outdoor recreation up to 2029 and beyond, is closely aligned with the ambitions and aspiration of the recently launched National Strategy for Outdoor Recreation – Embracing Our Great Outdoors. Donegal is one among one of the first counties to do so.
Liam Ward, Director of Community Development & Planning Services at Donegal County Council explained that dedicated steering and stakeholder groups were established, along with extensive engagement with communities to inform the vision and mission for Donegal as a Diverse, Natural, Authentic outdoors for all.
“I would like to thank everyone for working with Donegal County Council and engaging so positively in the process, and I look forward to seeing the partnerships already developed through the Strategy’s preparation, strengthen in the future”.
In his opening address, Cathaoirleach of Letterkenny Milford Municipal District, Cllr Donal Kelly believes the sustainable development of Donegal’s landscapes and waterscapes will be greatly informed by the county-wide Strategy.
Cllr Kelly welcomed the strategic actions in auditing inclusive and accessible outdoor recreation infrastructure, particularly for those who are underrepresented in our society.
Donegal Local Community Development Committee (LCDC) working with Donegal County Council and other stakeholders, guided and supported the delivery of the Strategy.
Speaking at the launch, Cllr Martin Mc Dermott, Vice Chairperson of the LCDC acknowledged strong collaboration with stakeholders was at the core of the development of the strategy.
“This Strategy is evidenced and place-based and will build stronger, more cohesive and inclusive communities and generate economic growth across our County.”
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue TD expressed his support for the Strategy and commended all those involved in its preparation.
Launching the Outdoor Recreation Strategy for Donegal, Minister Humphreys said ‘from an outdoor recreation perspective Donegal has so much to offer, few places can compete with the natural beauty across this county’.
‘The Donegal Outdoor Recreation Strategy will provide a clear blueprint to sustainably grow and improve both land and water-based recreation activities throughout the county’.
The Donegal Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2023-2029 is available to view here.