Categories: Plan Your Trip

The MyNI digital marketing team within the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has worked with a range of partners including Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Outdoor Recreation NI, Public Health Agency and others to help you ‘Embrace a Giant Spirit and Get into Nature’ by enjoying the wonderful environment on our doorstep. 

‘Get Into Nature’, encourages people across Northern Ireland to be Be outdoor smart.  Leave no trace. Love the place, to adventure out into our natural environment without damaging it, to do what we can to help protect it and crucially to be prepared for all conditions and events that may occur when we’re out and about!  

We are here to help visitors build their outdoor skills, and to provide the information you need to enjoy and look after the environment you are visiting. 

Let’s immerse ourselves in our beautiful land through discovery, but let’s also protect our precious environment which gives us such inspiration, our food and water, supports our health and wellbeing, as well as our economy.

Alongside Government protocols and public health guidelines, here are some tips to help us all to make our trips to the outside a safe and healthy one.

Enjoy a healthy, enjoyable and safe visit to our stunning natural environment!

Download our safety checklist and read on for more top tips!

Be outdoor smart.  Leave no trace. Love the place.

Be ready for the outdoors.
Be prepared for a safe outdoor visit - don’t risk injury.

  • Plan ahead to avoid getting injured, needing rescued or ending up in hospital.

  • Have the right kit – the right shoes, a waterproof, a map, water.

  • Tell people where you are going if visiting the hills, a remote area or out to sea.

  • Choose an activity or location within your existing skills and experience level or:

  • Go with an experienced activity provider if you are undertaking a new activity or getting more adventurous.

  • If planning a visit to the coast, check the weather forecast (especially the wind speed and direction), tide times, follow safety advice, keep a close eye on your family and don’t use inflatables.

  • Swim where it is safe and permitted.

  • Many Governing Bodies of Sport have produced Guidance for their own sport – have a look at the more detailed guidance relating to your chosen activity.

Choose quiet location and times.

Check the site has all the facilities you need.

Keep the roads clear - don’t park at gates or on verges.

Have a back-up plan for if the site is full when you reach it.

  • Avoid popular honey pot sites – this will help maintain social distancing and enable everyone to have an enjoyable time.

  • Weekends and afternoons can be very busy – choose another time if you can.

  • Discover new places and hidden gems (with safe planning).

  • Leave your car at your accommodation if possible.

  • Do not park outside of designated parking spaces, on verges or in gateways.

  • Check if all the services you need are open - are toilets, baby changing, playgrounds and other facilities available? Is pre-booking required?

  • Make sure the Emergency Services, local farmers or local residents will be able to pass by and to access fields, forests, or houses. If a car park is full, go somewhere else.

  • Bring your hand sanitiser and consider the use of face masks in busy areas such as car parks.

Respect staff and volunteers.  Share the space with all.

  • Staff, volunteers and signage are there to help to keep everyone, and the site, safe and healthy – please follow their instruction.

  • Be mindful of not gathering around key points such as car parks, bridges, gates, information points, summits or for photos.

  • Respect other users of the space – walkers, cyclists, swimmers, horse riders.

Give nature space and quiet to flourish.

Keep your dog under control.

Respect people’s land, property and farm animals.

Take your rubbish home.

Only BBQ in designated BBQ areas.

Leave nature the way you find it, for all to enjoy.

  • Enjoy nature but don’t disturb it – when watching wildlife, remain at a distance, stay invisible, quiet, and don’t stay long.

  • Don’t chase, touch or feed wildlife.

  • Prevent your dog from approaching other people and their dogs, cyclists, livestock and wildlife.

  • Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals.

  • Leave gates as you found them.

  • Help everyone by taking litter home and recycle it.

  • BBQs can be a fire risk and are challenging to clear up after – please only have them in designated BBQ areas, ensure that a fire will not start and spread and check they are cold before you clear them up.

  • For marine trips, choose an operator accredited by WiSe www.wisescheme.org. 

Clean your hands before and after your visit.

  • Continue to follow public health guidelines on handwashing.

  • Remember hand hygiene if you touch any surfaces.

Please enjoy a healthy and safe visit to our outdoors.

Many Governing Bodies of Sport have produced Guidance for their own sport – have a look at the more detailed guidance relating to your chosen activity.

For up to date information on National Trust locations please visit their website.

For more information on outdoor recreation places and activities near you, please visit Outmore NI.

For the latest guidance on outdoor recreation please visit here.

Be outdoor smart - Leave No Trace - Love the Place