Sport Ireland Trails Launch Education and Training Programme

Sport Ireland Trails today launched a new education and training programme which aims to support the development and management of high quality recreational trails in Ireland. Interest in outdoor recreation is growing in Ireland with walking, cycling and water-based trails now being developed throughout the country.

The new programme, which is designed for people working in or with an interest in the area of recreational trails and outdoors, will see seven short courses initially offered in 2017, including: Walking Trail Planning; Walking Trail Development; Introduction to Walking Trail Survey, Design and Specification; Introduction to Walking Trail Construction Techniques; Practical Trail Surface Construction and Repair; Local Trail Inspection and Maintenance Planning; and Recreational Cycle Route Planning & Development.

Commenting on announcement of the courses, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, said: “The development of these courses will ensure Ireland continues to be a frontrunner in the area of outdoor recreation activity, which is important for physical activity, tourism and local communities. The 800 waymarked trails on the Irish Trails Register with their stunning scenery attract visitors to Ireland from all over the world while serving as a fantastic amenity for people all across Ireland to get out and get active.

 The Sport Ireland Trails education programme is embedded in best practice and offers participants a mix of class room learning, practical group work and outdoor learning modules. The roll-out of these courses will aid the development of top class recreational infrastructure such as the Waterford Greenway and the Suir Blueway. Sport Ireland places a particular emphasis on encouraging physical activity in the outdoors and the development of top class recreational infrastructure will maximise recreation opportunities in the natural environment.

Speaking about the upcoming courses, Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said: Sport Ireland, and formerly the Irish Sports Council, has supported this sector over the past fifteen years by promoting standards and good practice for recreational trail developments, managing an Irish trail quality assurance programme and maintaining a national trails register. The new education and training programme seeks to fill a gap that currently exists in the provision of high quality training courses for people working in this area at this time.”

The courses will be run from a number of training centres around the country including Lough Key Forest Park Co. Roscommon and Farran Woods in Co. Cork

For more information and to book places on the courses visit: www.irishtrails.ie/education_training

About Sport Ireland Trails

Sport Ireland Trails supports the planning and development of recreational trails in Ireland by working in partnership with state agencies, community group and private landowners.

Sport Ireland Trails maintains a National Trails Register in conjunction with a number of partner agencies and bodies, promotes standards and good practice for trail development, supports new trail initiatives and also undertakes promotional work aimed at increasing the awareness and usage of recreational trails in Ireland.

About Sport Ireland Trails Education and Training Programme

The new education and training programme has been developed in line with best practice and all courses will be delivered by qualified trainers. The courses will provide participants with the skills, knowledge and confidence to assist in the planning, development and maintenance of high quality recreational trails in Ireland