Participation in outdoor activities remains high
The news comes as the charity’s recently released People in the Outdoors Monitor for Northern Ireland (POMNI) report shows that around 7 in 10 adults living in Northern Ireland now visit the outdoors for leisure at least once. times per week. This equates to 144 million annual visits per year.
The results are consistent with increased traffic to the OutmoreNI.com website and demonstrate that the unprecedented increase in outdoor activities throughout the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. A whopping 47% of respondents to Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland’s 2020 Engaging with The Outdoors during Covid 19 Lockdown in Northern Ireland report said they spent more free time outdoors during lockdown than in 2019.
The POMNI survey, which surveyed members of the public between November 2020 and October 2021, also shows that 72% of respondents said their local green space is within easy walking distance, allowing for frequent outdoor enjoyment. This percentage increases to 79% for urban areas and decreases to 57% for rural areas.
The outdoor activities cited as being most commonly done by respondents were short walks, walking their dog, spending time playing with children and running. This is also reflected in OutmoreNI.com user searches for boardwalks, bike paths, parks and beaches.
Survey participants reported a wide range of benefits from outdoor recreation, with 78% reporting a sense of well-being, including feelings of calm, relaxation, refreshment and revitalization.