What's Going On?

Fun on the Water as Enniskillen Blueway Water Activity Zone Opens

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Waterways Ireland with the support of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism and Enniskillen BID have announced the opening of the Enniskillen Blueway Water Activity Zone beside the footbridge at Erneside. 


The Water Activity Zone is the ideal location to try out canoeing, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding and offers a new adventure experience for family fun days out or for individuals and groups who want to explore Enniskillen, or further afield, from the water.  If you would prefer to captain your own boat and enjoy a short trip around Ireland's only island town, why not hire one of the 'wee red boats' from Erne Boat Hire.  For a more exhilarating blast around Lough Erne, why not hop on the Erne Water Taxi.  Also on offer will be the new heritage boat, a boat tour taking in the monastic and heritage sites around Enniskillen including Devenish Island.  


Waterways Ireland's Director of Business Development John Boyle welcomed the opening of the Water Activity Zone and said, "Lough Erne is one of the most spectacular waterways on the island of Ireland, it is hoped that this new Water Activity Zone will play a role in encouraging young people to access the water, engage in water sports and fall in love with Lough Erne.  We welcome Erne Boat Hire, Erne Water Taxi and the provision of canoe, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding to the Water Activity Zone and wish the activity providers well in this new venture."


The creation of this water activity zone will form part of the ongoing Blueway developments on Lough Erne.  Blueways are a series of multi activity recreational trails based on or closely linked with the water.  The first Blueway paddling trail to be developed will be from Bellanaleck to Trory taking in Enniskillen town and the Water Activity Zone.  The Blueway will allow easier access to Lough Erne and encourage people to engage with and enjoy a large variety of water activities.


For more information on the Water Activity Zone, please visit www.waterwaysireland.org




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The Get Wet NI Events by County

Friday, 18 May 2018

This weekend is the beginning of Get Wet NI! Events are taking place all across Northern Ireland, providing people with the chance to try water sports for perhaps the first time.


With so many taking place, it can be difficult to decide which to try out so we've made a list of the events by county to make it that bit easier.


County Antrim - Rowing is popular in Antrim, as both the Lagan Currachs and Lagan Scullers guide newbies down the river for the first time. There are also a number of sailing events, including ones by County Antrim Yacht Club and the East Antrim Boat Club.


County Armagh - Try Sailing with Push the Boat Out at Kinnego Marina in Armagh, with the Lough Neagh Sailing Club.


County Down - The people of Down have no shortage of events to chose from over Get Wet NI Weekend. The ladies could opt for a girls only beginner wakeboarding lesson with Cable and Wake. Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club will be taking people out for some paddling, as will the Black Neb Rowing Club in Kircubbin. There's also Dinghy and Cruiser Sailing at Carlingford Lough, Skiff Rowing from Killyleagh Coastal Rowing Club and a "Try Sailing Day" from the Killyleagh Yacht Club. 


County Fermanagh - The folks from Row the Erne are providing people the opportunity to see Enniskillen from the river. Better still, it's in a traditional currach that fits a crew of 10.


County Derry / Londonderry - Guaranteed to be a smash hit for all the family, visitors to Creggan Country Park will be greeted by a plethora of water sport activities, including an inflatable obstacle course, canoeing and more!


For information on all the Get Wet NI events taking place this summer, visit GetWetNI.com

Get into Watersports with Get Wet NI

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Always wanted to have a go at watersports but didn’t know how to get involved? Get Wet NI is the perfect way to try something 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, wake boarding, rowing and diving. With no prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try! 


The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th May. Even if you can’t attend this weekend there will be a series of events throughout the summer right up until the end of August offering you the chance to have a go.


SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation 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”.


Waterways Ireland, who are part funding the project are looking forward to welcoming new users onto their waterways to try out new experiences. John Boyle, the Director of Business Development for Waterways Ireland said, "One of the key objectives for Waterways Ireland is to encourage sustained participation on our beautiful waterways and it's for this reason we are delighted to support 'Get Wet NI'. The Erne System and Lower Bann waterways, which will be used for some of the 'Get Wet NI' events, are simply stunning and an opportunity to explore these particularly scenic areas from the water should not be missed."


Visit www.GetWetNI.com to see a full list of taster events that are being offered as part of the campaign to find your next adventure!


 

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Join the ORNI Team!

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Our parent company Outdoor Recreation NI is hiring. Join us to improve the nation's health and well-being and drive activity tourism.


Outdoor Recreation NI are seeking driven and enthusiastic team players to join our dynamic team leading the strategic direction of outdoor recreation development across Northern Ireland.


A passion for the outdoors will help, but first and foremost ORNI is seeking candidates who reflect the ambition, drive and dedication to producing a first-rate service for our clients and external stakeholders.


Increased demand for our services means we are seeking candidates for the following positions:


Project Officer (2 posts available)
Bringing a commitment to helping more people enjoy the outdoors through the scoping, planning, design and delivery of a range of outdoor recreation projects.  Candidates should have 3 to 5 years paid practical experience in successfully managing and delivering complex projects.


Assistant Project Officer (2 posts available)
Seeking to challenge themselves and keen to learn through delivery of practical projects. Previous paid work experience is not a requirement, therefore ideal for graduates.


Assistant Marketing Officer (1 post available)
A fast learner and who can learn from and collaborate with the team. You need to be eager to grow and progress your career within the organisation. Previous paid work experience is not a requirement, therefore ideal for graduates.


Application deadline for all posts is Wednesday 11th April at 3pm.


Apply Now via NIJobs.com

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Waterways Ireland Research Survey

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

'Does your club hold activities on the following navigable waterways; Royal Canal, Grand Canal, Lough Erne, Lower Bann, Shannon, Barrow or Shannon-Erne? 


Waterways Ireland would like to hear from you.. Please share your club's use of these waterways via a short online survey 


Tourism along the inland waterways has been changing at an ever increasing rate. By keeping up with the tourism trends and understanding the users of the inland waterways, Waterways Ireland can make better decisions about future developments and attracting more visitors to the inland waterways. 


Please note all data is kept confidential and is combined in such a way that it is anonymous before it is shared publicly. 


 

Slow Adventure Weekend Set for Derry and Strabane

Friday, 15 September 2017

If you want to get away from it all, slow things down and reconnect with nature Derry and Strabane is the place to be on 23rd & 24th September. Escape to the stunningly beautiful rural setting where local food will be combined with outdoor activities for a truly authentic and natural experience.


With 8 unique experience packages being offered over the weekend you will have the opportunity to walk through the Sperrin Mountains foraging for food, see how artisan cheese is produced or have a go at traditional fishing.  You can also step out on an Irish walking tour, horse ride through the wilderness or go canoeing through scenic waters.


Knowledgeable guides will ensure your experience is like no other, go horse riding through the stunning grounds of Beech Hill Country House Hotel before enjoying cream tea in the elegant settings or paddle along the idyllic River Foyle by canoe before sampling some delicious beer from the Walled City Brewery.  If you’d prefer to keep your feet on dry ground then a guided walking tour through the rolling hills of the Sperrins followed by a delicious artisan meal or tour of a local organic farm may be more up your street.


These fantastic one of a kind experiences are being offered as part of a European funded transnational programme to promote slow adventures in Scotland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland and Northern Ireland.  With added extras available for those that book during the weekend, don’t miss out on the opportunity to be one of the first to try these experiences on the 23rd or 24th September.  Many of the packages are also available to book all year round so you can get planning your next adventure.


Whether you want to escape for an entire weekend or have a day out with a difference there are lots of fantastic experiences to choose from.  For more information and to book your adventure visit www.SlowAdventureNI.com  

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'Slow Adventures' Now Available in Derry & Strabane

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

A brand new adventure concept favouring slow, immersive experiences that engage with remote, wild and nature-rich places was revealed yesterday at an exclusive launch event in Derry~Londonderry, Northern Ireland. 


Aptly named, ‘slow adventure’ fosters an engagement with nature and provides an opportunity to not only partake in an activity but also to learn aspects of the local area such as the produce, wildlife and environment.


Over ten new visitor packages in Derry and the surrounding rural areas are now available to experience and have been carefully crafted to make your introduction with slow adventure as memorable as possible. You can now walk through the Sperrin Mountains foraging for food along the way, bake your own bread the traditional way in a farmhouse kitchen, see how artisan cheese is produced or have a go at traditional fishing and cook your catch on a wild camp fire. Other packages include interactive cooking demonstrations with local hand-picked ingredients, Irish walking tours, horse riding in the wilderness as well as deer stalking, bird shooting and salmon fishing.


Visitors to the area can experience these new slow adventure packages over the weekend of Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th September as Derry City and Strabane District Council host the first ever ‘Slow Adventure Weekend’.


The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh “The council are delighted to bring this new adventure concept to Northern Ireland and more specifically to Derry, Strabane and the surrounding rural areas. We are the first and only area in Northern Ireland to offer slow adventure experiences and believe it is an amazing way to journey through the breath-taking landscapes and engage with the wilderness and nature”.


At the launch, James Huey from the Walled City Brewery, one of the local tourism businesses offering a slow adventure package commented, “There is something very special about participating in a slow adventure. It’s not just about taking part in an activity, the crux of a slow adventure is to give people the chance to really get away from it all and create memorable experiences”.


This new concept has been introduced to Northern Ireland as part of a transnational programme to promote slow adventures in Scotland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Slow Adventure in the Northern Territories, or SAINT Programme, is a three year programme with support from The Northern Periphery and Arctic 2014-2020. The Northern Irish project partner, Derry City and Strabane District Council, has been working with thirteen local tourism businesses since September 2015 to create the new slow adventure packages using their learnings from the other destinations across the world also involved in the programme.


Visit www.slowadventureni.com to see what’s on offer during this year’s Slow Adventure Weekend and throughout the year to start planning your next adventure!

Click here to find out more

Flotilla celebrates NI Watersports on Lough Erne

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

A celebration of the wide range of waterposts available in Northern Ireland took place on Saturday 29th July with an impressive Flotilla of 66 people sailing, paddling and rowing Upper Lough Erne.  An array of boats including kayaks, canoes, skiffs, rowing boats, a Curragh and giant Stand Up Paddle Board travelled from Ballenaleck to Enniskillen as part of a wider initiative taking place over the weekend across Europe to promote sport and physical activity.


Part of the Get Wet NI initiative funded by SportNI and Waterways Ireland to encourage more people to enjoy our waterways and find their watersports passion, a range of watersports clubs from across the country formed the spectacle.


Reflecting on the Flotilla and the importance of the initiative, Mike McClure, Outdoor Recreation Development Officer for SportNI, commented, “It was fantastic to see so many people using their newly found skills to take part in this celebration of watersports.  The campaign has and continues to highlight the range of watersports opportunities available in Northern Ireland and I would encourage everyone to find an event near them and give it a go.  With access to experienced instructors and equipment as well as a great social scene, joining a club is a fantastic way to get into watersports without the barriers.”   


Waterways Ireland, another funder of the campaign was delighted to witness so many users enjoying Lough Erne.  Sharon Lavin from the organisation explained, “Lough Erne is one of our great natural resources and it’s not hard to see why this peaceful waterway with spectacular scenery is best enjoyed from the water. The lough provided the perfect setting for the Flotilla which we hope will inspire more people to get out and enjoy the fantastic waterways we have on our doorstep”.


Launched in May and continuing until the end of August, Get Wet NI, with support from a range of water based National Governing Bodies, encourages people to try out a watersport with a view to joining their local watersports club.  To mark the start of the campaign, local clubs welcomed members of the public to come and have a go for free or at a reduced cost at 39 taster events in May.  Members of the public had the opportunity to try up to 8 different watersports from rowing and canoeing to water skiing, sailing and diving.  These have been followed by a series of training and beginner sessions currently happening throughout the summer for those interested in continuing in their chosen sport or indeed looking for an opportunity to give it a go for the first time.


To find out how you can get involved with a watersports club in your local area and see a full list of events that are being offered visit www.GetWetNI.com and find your next adventure!


 

Click here to find out more

Lower Bann Canoe Trail Features on BBC Countryfile

Sunday, 11 June 2017

The Lower Bann Canoe Trail was prominently featured on BBC prime time Sunday evening programme ‘Countryfile’ on Sunday 11th June.


Presenter Ellie Harrison enjoyed a trip along the trail from Toome to Portna in the company of Chris Scott from CanoeNI and Robin Ruddock from Causeway Adventures.


Conditions were perfect with a following breeze and temperatures reaching 18 degrees Celsius, the trio took in the sights and sounds of Lough Beg.


“A siege of grey herons provided a great send off as we passed the Eel Fishery at Toome and as the river widened into the Lough the variety of bird life was amazing. It is a credit to the conservation work in the area led by the RSPB NI. It was nice to be able to demonstrate how canoeing is an ideal and non-intrusive way to enjoy such a special place” enthused Chris Scott, CanoeNI.    


Whilst Ellie Harrison experienced a snapshot of the trail, as Chris explains “The entire trail can be done in two days at a push, however taking three days allows a much more relaxing pace. Waterways Ireland has developed some great campsites along the way.” 


Causeway Adventures is one of many providers offering guided trips and canoe hire along the trail.  The trail has increasing become increasingly popular with those partaking in their DofE Silver Award.


Robin Ruddock is no stranger to the Lower Bann, having spent the last 30 years helping people experience some of the hidden treasures of the river and beyond. “I always enjoy the opportunity to showcase the Lower Bann, it was pleasing to see that Ellie was so taken aback with the beauty and tranquillity of the place.  As a Countryfile presenter she has plenty of other destinations to make a comparison to.”


Robin worked closely with CanoeNI on the development of the canoe trail.  ‘I had written my own unofficial guide book many years ago and then CanoeNI modernised it with waterproof guides and websites.  It is great that more and more people now have the opportunity to enjoy the river.”


CanoeNI.com has a wealth of information on the Lower Bann Canoe Trail including maps, itineraries and canoe operator details. 


 

Click here to find out more

Get into Watersports with Get Wet NI

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

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


During May 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, water skiing and wake boarding, rowing, angling, stand up paddle boarding and diving.  No prior experience or specialist equipment required there really is no excuse not to give it a try!


The campaign kicks off with a weekend of water based outdoor activity taster events all over Northern Ireland during the weekend of 6th and 7th May with further opportunities to have a go on a range of Taster events throughout the month of May. These events will be closely followed by a series of follow up training events throughout the summer to encourage participants to continue in their chosen watersport.


SportNI is one of the leading organisations behind the initiative and their Outdoor Recreation 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”.


Waterways Ireland, who are part funding the project are looking forward to welcoming new users onto their waterways trying out new experiences, Sharon Lavin from the organisation explained, “‘Get Wet NI’ is a fantastic opportunity for people to experience the great natural water resources we have here in Northern Ireland. The Erne System and Lower Bann waterways, which will be used for some of the events, are simply stunning and an opportunity to explore these particularly scenic areas from the water should not be missed.” 


Visit www.GetWetNI.com to see a full list of taster events that are being offered as part of the campaign and find your next adventure! 

Click here to find out more

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