Outscape Conference: Expert Panel – Local Communities

9th February 2023

The Outscape conference will consist of three sessions, looking at what’s next for health and outdoor recreation, local communities and outdoor recreation, and the environment and outdoor recreation. This week’s ezine focuses on the panel who will share their expertise and insights on what is next for local communities and outdoor recreation.

What is next for local communities and outdoor recreation? We have a group of expert panelists joining us at Greenhill YMCA National Outdoor Centre on 23rd February 2023 who might have the answer! The four panellists joining the stage are… 

Richard Armstrong
Paths for All, Senior Development Officer

Richard is a Senior Development Officer within Paths for All’s Community Paths Team. Paths for All are a Scottish walking charity who champion everyday walking for a happier, healthier, greener Scotland. Richard works in collaboration with local authorities and communities throughout Scotland to help develop inclusive environments for everyone to be active, he is also involved in developing Paths for All’s nature connectedness program. Prior to working with Paths for All he worked as Countryside Ranger for 10 years, he’s a keen off-road cyclist, climber, and hillwalker.

Philip Weston
Outscape, Head of Place Shaping

Philip leads our Place Shaping Team which undertakes the feasibility, planning, design and project management of high-quality, sustainable, participant-focused outdoor recreation experiences.
Philip currently spends a significant portion of his time managing the planning and delivery of Community Trails which provide much needed doorstep walking opportunities for local communities.
Alongside this, Philip delivers a wide range of projects including masterplans, feasibility studies and visitor information plans for a range of outdoor sites across Northern Ireland.

Paul Tamati
NMDDC, Assistant Director: Leisure and Sport

Paul will be joining the panel as a representative from Newry Mourne and Down District Council. His work as the Assistant Director in Leisure and Sport means he is a great addition to the panel with his knowledge in working with local communities from a councils perspective.
Paul has been involved with the brilliant new community trails across the Newry, Mourne and Down area in the last few years and knows how to connect well with the local community.

Ian McCurley
Woodland Trust, Director

Ian has been the Director of Woodland Trust Northern Ireland since 2019. During this period he has been focused in growing the Woodland Trust estate and on motivating landowners to plant trees in the NI countryside. Prior to the Woodland Trust he has worked with the National Trust for 15 years across a variety of properties from the relative quiet of Crom Estate to the hustle and bustle of Divis and Mount Stewart.
He firmly believes access to woods and open spaces is absolutely essential for both physical and mental wellbeing and is personally an outdoors enthusiast.  While conservation is his training, Ian’s passion is having an impact on the landscape and lives of the people who live in and use our environment.