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 a week. This equates to 144 million annual visits per year.
The results are consistent with increased traffic to the OutmoreNI.com website and show that the unprecedented surge in outdoor activity during the pandemic shows no signs of slowing down. A whopping 47 per cent of respondents to Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland’s 2020 Engaging with The Outdoors While Covid 19 Lockdown in Northern Ireland report said they have spent more free time outdoors during the lockdown than in 2019.
The POMNI survey, which surveyed the public between November 2020 and October 2021, also shows that 72 percent of respondents said their local green space is within easy walking distance and enjoys the great outdoors frequently. This increases to 79 percent for urban areas and decreases to 57 percent for rural areas.
Beverley Magowan, Marketing Manager at Outdoor Recreation NI
The outdoor activities most frequently cited by respondents were short walks, walking the dog, spending time playing with children, and jogging. This is also reflected in OutmoreNI.com users’ searches for walks, bike paths, parks and beaches.
Survey participants reported a variety of benefits of spending time outdoors, with 78 percent reporting that they gained a sense of well-being, including feelings of calm, relaxation, refreshment and revitalization.