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Get Ready to Get Wet in 2021!

Monday, 24 May 2021

Get Wet NI




The average person would have jumped at any opportunity to get outdoors in a fun setting this time last year, let alone doing it with other people and the ability to learn a new skill! Covid-19 has fundamentally shifted our relationship with the outdoors and created a new appreciation for the ability to do things, to enjoy ourselves and savour life.


It is the perfect time then, to GetWet – a campaign intended to introduce people to watersports in a fun and educational way. GetWetNI kicks off from the end of May with a series of free or much reduced cost taster events throughout Northern Ireland, and will run throughout the remainder of the summer. Below, we’ve listed just a few of the ones we think you might be interested in! But feel free to check them all out on our website, GetWetNI.com.


 


Girls in Angling


Camowen Community Anglers are running a free session on angling at Altmore Fishery in Co. Tyrone on Sunday 30th May.


All equipment is provided for you on the day, you just need to bring your own wellies and waterproof gear. Better still, the organisers are running a competition and have prizes to be won throughout the day! If you’re interested in attending, it runs between 11am and 3pm; just drop them an email to camowenanglers@gmail.com


 


Quoile Yacht Club Taster Events


The Quoile Yacht Club in Downpatrick are running multiple taster events that include dinghy sailing, paddle boarding, canoeing, and cruising. If this doesn’t get you excited, we’re not sure what will! The day is suitable for anyone from the age of 8 up (with under 16s requiring a parent or guardian to be present), and will be lead by qualified instructors.


Again, this event is completely free so you’ll never have a better opportunity to experience these incredible watersports than this. Sessions run between 11am and 12:30pm, 12:30pm and 2pm and 2pm and 3:30pm, and you’ll be able to speak to members and officers of the club throughout the day as well.


To get involved in the day, simply email info@quoileyachtclub.com and indicate your preferred session time, how many people are in your party and if any are under 18 and provide a contact mobile number for yourself.


 


Sculling for Water Enthusiasts


Lagan Scullers Club are offering the chance to try your hand (both hands actually, and your arms… also your legs) at rowing in the Lagan, again providing an amazing opportunity to both develop a new skill, get some good exercise in and also see Belfast from a completely different perspective.


A little bit of ‘water confidence’ is needed for this course as, to reduce physical proximity, you’ll be in a single boat, with a coach in another boat just alongside you to keep you right.


The sessions themselves are limited to only 4 places per day so the spots will book up fast. With only four places, it means you’ll be receiving a significant amount of training over the two hours (one of which you’ll spend in the water, the other out of the water). You’ll get to see the variety of boats on offer, try the rowing machine, learn the different rowing movements and then – how to control your boat on the water! These sessions are £10 and will run every Sunday throughout June. To book, email lscullers@hotmail.com


 


Try Kayak Racing


Belfast Canoe Club are the only club in Northern Ireland currently offering tuition in the Olympic discipline of kayak racing. Running on Sunday 6th June and Wednesday 9th June, it’s a fast moving, exciting and energetic sport that the people who do it live for. You’ll not be tackling any rapids in this session though, don’t worry. Instead, you’ll be on the placid water of Lough Henney, outside Lisburn which is uniquely suitable for this sport.


During the session, you’ll learn the difference between kayaks and paddles used for racing and ‘normal’ kayaks; the principles of paddling fast as well as then an hour’s coaching on the water.


The training is open to everyone, but the club have advised that their equipment is generally not suitable for children under the age of 10. A maximum of 8 people can attend per session and competent paddlers and those interested in getting involved in racing will have the opportunity to join the club.


To book on, email belfastcanoeclub@gmail.com with your choice of date.


 


Re-Discover Watersports at Cushendall Sailing and Boating Club


This is another extravaganza of different water sports discipline and absolutely not to be missed out on. CSBC are welcoming people to come along to try out sailing, standup paddleboarding, canoeing and sea swimming, all under the eye of qualified instructors and with all equipment supplied. The sessions will run across two days, on Friday 18th June and Saturday 19th June, between 6pm and 8pm both evenings and between 1pm and 3pm on the Saturday afternoon.


In addition to the fantastic watersports opportunities, there will also be a BBQ with firepits on the club patio on both evenings, and the clubhouse bar will be open.


If you’d like to book on, you can do it via the clubs website. Visit www.csbc.co.uk now! 


 

Click here to find out more

Updated Guidance on Covid-19

Wednesday, 21 April 2021

The government have updated their restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and to help manage the pressures on the health and social care system. During this time, the single most important action we can all take is to follow the public health advice.


 


The current regulations will be reviewed on 13th May 2021.


 


The following information has been taken from NI Direct and applies specifically to undertaking outdoor recreation:



  • Travel: To help reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading you should stay in your local area. If you go somewhere and there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult, consider going somewhere else instead.

  • Outdoor Gatherings: Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors. You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

  • Outdoor Areas, Visitor Attractions & Activity Centres: Outdoor parks, play areas, outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust and the outdoor areas of stately homes, historic homes and castles are permitted to remain open. From 23rd April outdoor visitor attractions and activity centres may reopen.

  • Outdoor Exercise & Sports:

    • Up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can take part in outdoor exercise or sports activities.

    • Up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports training, through clubs or individuals affiliated to recognised sport’s governing bodies or representative organisations for sport and physical activity.

    • Outdoor sports facilities can re-open but only to permit their use for those allowed in the regulations. Club houses and indoor sports facilities (changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must stay closed.

    • From 23rd April squad training can resume, as well as competitive outdoor sports. No spectators are permitted and numbers (including officials, participants, management and support personnel) should be restricted to the minimum number required for the delivery of the event and should not exceed 100

    • The return to sport protocols put in place by sport’s governing bodies should be strictly adhered to including hygiene measures, social distancing and other mitigations. Sport NI has provided further guidance for governing bodies / representative organisations on the Pathway out of Restrictions for Outdoor Sport.




 


Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing. To stay safe outdoors, you should follow the ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’ guidance by:



  1. Planning ahead – check if your destination will be open and what facilities are available

  2. Respecting the emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital

  3. Scaling back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities

  4. Parking with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents

  5. Avoiding peak times and popular sites to help maintain social distancing

  6. Bringing and using hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

  7. Respecting the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site

  8. Keeping at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble where possible

  9. Not leaving your house if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you are self-isolating

  10. Taking your litter home with you

  11. Keeping your dog under control

  12. Enjoying nature but do not disturb it

  13. Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas



For the most up to date status of key outdoor recreation guidelines please visit NI Direct.


 

Get on the ‘Right Side of Outside’ this Spring - WalkNI

Friday, 26 March 2021

Northern Ireland’s outdoor areas and scenic spots have seen a huge increase in visitor numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Whilst this interest in the outdoors is extremely positive for society, it has generated significant issues that are disrupting natural beauty spots, such as littering, dog waste, irresponsible car parking, livestock worrying, disturbance to wildlife, overcrowding and damage which can be caused by wild camping and wildfires.


A new nationwide campaign called ‘The Right Side of Outside’ which aims to generate awareness of these concerns and instill more positive behaviours, that will ultimately ease some of the main implications now at play in many of our popular outdoor spots has just been launched by WalkNI, a sister brand to CanoeNI.


The campaign is funded by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and is being driven by a wider group of organisations currently being affected by these issues.


Speaking on the launch, Chair of WalkNI’s parent company, Outdoor Recreation NI, Dawson Stelfox MBE and the first Irish man to reach and lead a team to Everest in 1993 said: “In the past year, outdoor space has mattered to us more than ever, providing a true place of escapism from the reality of the pandemic. With spring upon us and social distancing regulations set to relax further, we want to ensure that people continue enjoying the outdoors, making great memories with family and friends; but in a way that is positive for their surroundings. Whilst most visitors out and about are respectful of their natural environment, there are a small number who have exploited the freedoms of the outdoors. We want to encourage people to prepare before heading out, adhere to health and safety measures, be respectful of others and understand that simple changes such as going early to ensure you get a car parking space, avoiding areas where livestock are present if you have a dog, bringing your dog waste home with you and knowing the risks associated with outdoor fires will have a huge impact.


“Whilst COVID-19 regulations continue to change, we ask people to please be mindful of current guidance that is in place. Our campaign is a positive reminder to embrace outside, but respect the space you are in.”


‘The Right Side of Outside’ campaign will roll out over the coming weeks, with the first campaign message focusing on littering, an issue WalkNI recognises is one of the most prevalent. The main message is to bring your litter home. Some outdoor spots don’t have bins and if they do, bins can quickly overfill. There are also items such as apple cores or banana skins that can be a danger to wildlife.


Dawson adds: “On a visit to the countryside, always take your rubbish home with you. It may sound obvious, but it is surprising how many people don’t. Alternatively, if you see a discarded crisp packet, can, bottle or any litter when out and about, pick it up. Keep a bag and protective gloves in your rucksack for litter-picking opportunities. These small actions will have a lasting positive impact. We choose to escape to these scenic locations to enjoy and bask in their beauty, so why would you wish to taint it for future generations?”


Helping WalkNI kick off its campaign is local comedian Shane Todd who stars in one of the campaigns videos which you can watch on Facebook. The not-for-profit organisation will also be teaming up with a number of Northern Ireland’s well-known personalities and influencers; asking them to champion the campaign’s key messages.


To find out more about the campaign or discover tips to help you make the right choices outdoors, visit WalkNI’s Blog or search #RightSideofOutside.

Click here to find out more

Update to Covid-19 Restrictions

Monday, 22 March 2021

The government has updated their Covid-19 restrictions, which will then be reviewed again on 15 April 2021.



  • Leaving Home: You may leave your home for exercise, as permitted in the regulations.

  • Travel: You should not travel more than 10 miles from your home to exercise.

  • Outdoor Gatherings: Up to ten people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can meet outdoors for a permitted reason. You should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices.

  • Outdoor Areas: Outdoor parks, play areas, outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust and the outdoor areas of stately homes, historic homes and castles are permitted to remain open.

  • Exercising Outdoors: You can leave your home to exercise in a public outdoor place:

    • by yourself

    • with the people you live with

    • with your bubble

    • or, when on your own, with one person from another household




You should not travel more than 10 miles from your home in order to take exercise. If, when you arrive at your proposed destination, there are crowds which will make social distancing difficult you should find an alternative place to exercise.



  • Outdoor Sport: Outdoor sport is not permitted, other than at elite level. You cannot participate in personal one-to-one training sessions or group activities such as running or cycling.

  • However from 1st April, up to 10 people (including children of all ages) from a maximum of two households can take part in structured outdoor sports activities. 

  • Outdoor sports facilities can re-open. However, club houses and indoor sports facilities (changing rooms, showers, kitchens, meeting rooms), apart from essential toilet facilities must stay closed and from 12th April, up to 15 people (including coaches) can take part in structured outdoor sports training, through clubs affiliated to recognised sport’s governing bodies. The same restrictions as from 1st April apply.

Click here to find out more

What Covid Restrictions Mean for Exercise in the Outdoors

Wednesday, 23 December 2020

From 26th December the government have introduced additional restrictions to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and to help manage the pressures on the health and social care system. During this time, the single most important action you should take is to stay at home.


The new restrictions will be in place from 26th December for six weeks (with a review after four weeks) with some tighter restrictions from 26th December to 2nd January 2021.


The following restrictions have been taken from NI Direct and apply to outdoor activity:


From 26th December – 2nd January



  • Stay at home between 8pm to 6am - there can be no outdoor gatherings of any kind. This includes no household mixing in private gardens

  • Outdoor exercise is only permitted on your own or with members of your own household

  • No sporting events at any level, either indoors or outdoors, can be held


From 26th December for 6 Weeks



  • Travel: Avoid all unnecessary travel

  • Outdoor Exercise: Outdoor exercise is only permitted on your own or with members of your own household. Physical activity such as walking, running, cycling, horse riding, or just walking the dog bring many health benefits. You cannot participate in personal one-to-one training sessions or group activities such as running or cycling

  • Gatherings: Up to 15 people can meet outdoors, but you should maintain social distancing by being at least two metres apart, as well as good hand and respiratory hygiene practices. You may not organise, operate or participate in an indoor or outdoor gathering which consists of more than 15 people

  • Outdoor Areas - Outdoor parks, play areas, outdoor areas of properties operated by the National Trust and the outdoor areas of stately homes, historic homes and castles are permitted to remain open

  • Sport: Outdoor sport is not permitted, other than at elite level


Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing. To stay safe outdoors, you should follow the ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’ guidance by:



  • Planning ahead – check if your destination will be open and what facilities are available

  • Respecting the emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital

  • Scaling back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities

  • Parking with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents

  • Avoiding peak times and popular sites to help maintain social distancing

  • Bringing and using hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

  • Respecting the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site

  • Keeping at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble where possible

  • Not leaving your house if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you are self-isolating



  • Taking your litter home with you

  • Keeping your dog under control

  • Enjoying nature but not disturbing it

  • Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas, ensuring they will not spread and are cold before you clear them up


 


For the most up to date status of key outdoor recreation guidelines please visit NI Direct.

Click here to find out more

Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place

Friday, 23 October 2020

New guidelines introduced to reduce the spread of Covid-19 continue to allow people within Northern Ireland to travel to outdoor spaces for recreational purposes meaning many outdoor recreation sites and associated facilities across Northern Ireland remain open.


Spending time outdoors can significantly improve physical and mental wellbeing and with many outdoor sites now seeing an increase in visitors, CanoeNI are encouraging people to ‘Be Outdoor Smart – Leave No Trace – Love The Place’


Following these simple guidelines below will ensure your outdoor experience is as enjoyable and memorable as possible.


Be Outdoor Smart



  • Plan your day around your needs and what will be available (i.e. toilets, on-site visitor facilities, playgrounds, baby changing facilities etc.) – check reliable websites and pre book if necessary

  • Respect our emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital

  • Scale back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities

  • Park with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents

  • Avoid peak times and popular honeypot sites to help maintain social distancing

  • Bring and use hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

  • Respect the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site

  • Try to keep at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or bubble where possible        

  • Do not leave your house if you have any COVID-19 symptoms or if you are self-isolating


Leave No Trace – Love The Place


Practicing a Leave No trace ethic is very simple – make it hard for others to see or hear you and LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit by:



  • Taking your litter home with you

  • Keeping your dog under control

  • Enjoying nature but do not disturb it

  • Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas, ensuring they will not spread and are cold before you clear them up



For a range of useful hints and tips on how you can plan and prepare your outdoor visit to help protect the environment your visiting check out MyNI’s Get into Nature campaign.


 


Further information and the current status of key outdoor recreation sites is provided on NI DIRECT.

Click here to find out more

Blackwater Canoe Trail - Hazard

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Canoeists have reported a tree blocking the Blackwater River approximately 1km downstream of Maydown Bridge i.e. between Access Point 1 - Maydown Bridge and Access Point 2 - Blackwatertown. This has been reported to the necessary bodies and we will update this notice once the issue has been resolved.



It is advised that canoeists launch at at Blackwater Town - Access Point 2 until the hazard is cleared.

Click here to find out more

Be Outdoor Smart - Leave No Trace - Love The Place

Monday, 22 June 2020

Updated on 24th July 2020


Many outdoor recreation sites and associated facilities across Northern Ireland which were previously closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have now reopened.


As more and more opportunities become available for people to enjoy the outdoors, Outdoor Recreation NI are encouraging people to ‘Be Outdoor Smart - Leave No Trace - Love The Place’


Following these simple guidelines below will ensure your outdoor experience is as enjoyable and memorable as possible.


Be Outdoor Smart



  • Plan your day around your needs and what will be available (i.e. toilets, on-site visitor facilities, playgrounds, baby changing facilities etc.) – check reliable websites and pre book if necessary

  • Respect our emergency services – now is not the time to end up in hospital

  • Scale back your ambitions – choose activities that are within your skills and capabilities

  • Park with care – careless parking can create a road hazard or block access for Emergency Services, local farmers and residents

  • Avoid peak times and popular honeypot sites to help maintain social distancing

  • Bring and use hand sanitiser, especially after touching surfaces

  • Respect the wishes of landowners, local communities and other users of the site


Leave No Trace – Love The Place


Practicing a Leave No trace ethic is very simple – make it hard for others to see or hear you and LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit by:



  • Taking your litter home with you

  • Keeping your dog under control

  • Enjoying nature but do not disturb it

  • Only starting fires in designated BBQ areas, ensuring they will not spread and are cold before you clear them up


Further information and the current status of key outdoor recreation sites is provided on NI DIRECT.

The Get Wet NI 2019 Taster Weekend is this Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Get Wet NI is back for 2019 and launches this weekend with a whole host of taster events on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May. 


11 clubs across Northern Ireland are letting participants have a go at their chosen watersport, whether that be rowing, sailing, kayaking, waterskiing or surfing. 


These events will be followed by a series of additional events throughout the summer right up until the end of August to encourage continued activity in watersports. So even if you can’t attend the taster events you can still get involved by taking part in one of the many events taking place throughout the summer.


Sport Northern Ireland is the leading organisation behind the initiative and their Active Outdoors Development Officer, Mike McClure, believes it is a great way for people to get into a water sport and to eventually join a club. “Get Wet NI is a wonderful way for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.


Check out GetWetNI.com for more details on how to get involved! 


 

Click here to find out more

Get into Watersports with Get Wet NI

Monday, 15 April 2019

Always wanted to have a go at something adventurous on the water but didn’t know how to get involved? Get Wet NI is the perfect way to try a watersport for the first time and see if it’s for you!


Watersports clubs throughout Northern Ireland will be opening their doors to members of the public to have a go and try out a whole range of watersports including canoeing, sailing, rowing and diving. With no prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try! 


The Get Wet NI campaign launches with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May, many of which are free or at a reduced rate. Even if you can’t attend this weekend there will be a whole host of events happening throughout the summer right up until the end of August offering you the chance to have a go at a range of watersports.


SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Active Outdoors Development Officer, Mike McClure commented: “Get Wet NI is a wonderful way for people to experience the fantastic watersports opportunities here in Northern Ireland and hopefully by taking part in this campaign it will help develop favourite past-times that participants will take part in for many years to come”.


Visit www.GetWetNI.com or follow us on Facebook to see a full list of events that are being offered from May to August as part of the campaign to find your next adventure!


 


 

Click here to find out more

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