Ballynahinch Rugby Family Trail


Feasibility and Scoping Studies

Holistic Site Planning & Development

New trees planted at Ballynahinch Rugby Trail

The Challenge

To deliver a safe, off-road, sustainable Community Trail within the vicinity of Ballynahinch, Co. Down.

The Role

As part of a service level agreement with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, ORNI has been delivering a district wide community trail programme to connect people form their ‘doorsteps’ to their local green spaces and / or neighboring communities.

The Ballynahinch Rugby Club was identified as a key local hub in which a community trail would complement other existing community activity.

Working with the rugby club, Sport Northern Ireland and the Council we:

  • undertook extensive consultation with the local community to agree the size and scope of the trail and associated infrastructure
  • worked with a trail designer to produce a detailed plan for the proposed trail
  • secured funding to build the trail from Sport Northern Ireland and the Council
  • project managed the trail build from concept plan through to Council handover


The Results

The 1.3km Ballynahinch Rugby Family Trail or ‘Hinch Trail’ was launched in 2019 on the grounds of Ballymacran Park, the home of Ballynahinch RFC.

Outdoor Recreation NI partnered with 56 Degree Insight to design an Impact Survey for new trails. A key metric within the Impact Survey is a valuation of the Social Return on Investment (SROI) which is a standardised and recognised framework for measuring non-financial benefits. Our approach focuses on the return on investment from the path user’s perspective (i.e. those who walk, wheel, cycle or ride on the route) by considering benefits relating to physical health, wellbeing, environment and education/ learning.

One of three sites where the Impact Survey was piloted was Ballynahinch. The key findings are illustrated and further information on the measures used, rationale for approach, and results from all the pilot sites are available here: