ORNI Conference 2022

1st April 2022


On 29th March 2022, we hosted our annual conference virtually, exploring the theme of ‘Outdoor Recreation – Achieving Northern Ireland’s Potential’. 

The event was well attended with over 100 registered delegates from across Northern Ireland, Ireland, England and Scotland.

Outdoor recreation has never been higher up the agenda. The pandemic has enabled a higher vantage point from which to appreciate the many benefits it brings; from improving health and wellbeing, protecting the environment, tackling inequality, growing and greening the economy, increasing active travel, to enhancing education and learning. These outcomes contribute to many government priorities, and as we move more intentionally towards tackling the nature and climate emergencies, the importance of connecting people with their natural world will never be so important.

Our 2022 virtual conference used this new vantage point to pause and take stock of the new opportunities and possibilities that are there for us to grasp as we move forward. These insights will be informed by evidence as we shared the first ever baseline statistics from the People in the Outdoors Monitor for Northern Ireland (POMNI) and heard from other countries on the strategic and coordinated approaches that are being adopted – and from which we can be inspired. There were also views from key personnel of signature initiatives across Northern Ireland that are looking to harness these new opportunities and possibilities.

The conference schedule is below with timings for each section on the YouTube video so you can skip to the presentation you want to see:

Morning Session: The Big Picture Perspective 

  • An informed view: How the ‘People in the Outdoors Monitor for Northern Ireland’ can guide us forward
    Duncan Stewart and Aideen Martin (17.59)
  • A view from the South: Ireland’s new National Outdoor Recreation Strategy
    Daithi deForge (40.04)
  • Panel Discussion: A view from other countries on ‘New Priorities’
    Pippa Langford, Daithi deForge, Kevin Lafferty (1.14.50)
  • A Birdseye View: The Greenspace Layer for Northern Ireland coming in 2022
    John Hewitt and Elizabeth Rogers (1.43.49)


Afternoon Session: A Focus on Inspiring New Initiatives 

  • A view to the stars! The OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory at Davagh Forest
    Anne Reid and Roisin Doyle (1.39)
  • A view to greatness! Embracing the Giant Spirit of our outdoors
    Sheena Dickson (21.33)
  • The view of a mountain ranger: The pilot rangers’ scheme promoting more sustainable and responsible outdoor recreation.
    Stephen Millar (43.40)
  • Afternoon speakers Q&A and Round Up (1.03.31)