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Hannah Shields gets behind National Trails Day!


National Trails Day - Sunday 3rd October!

Northern Ireland is set to be packed full of free activity events this National Trails Day. On 3rd October this year, there will be free hill walking, cycling, horse riding and canoeing events to name just a few. Now in its third year, the cross-community National Trails Day has grown from strength to strength with more than 10,000 people from across both the North and South of Ireland taking part in events in 2009. The aim of the day is to celebrate the wonderful variety of trails available for everyone to enjoy in some of Ireland’s most beautiful countryside, forests, mountains and lakes.

This year The National Trust, Forest Service of Northern Ireland, Canoe Association of Northern Ireland (CANI), privately owned activity providers and other independent organisers will all be waiving entrance fees and offering activity events totally free of charge.

“National Trails Day is all about getting all sorts of folks outdoors enabling them to discover the natural gems on their own back doorstep. I know I take inspiration from this area every time I get out walking or running so it will be great to see more people taking advantage of all the free events and experiencing the outdoors for themselves on National Trails Day.” Local mountaineer and explorer Hannah Shields.

This year the Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) will be leading the organisation and promotion of National Trails Day in Northern Ireland and will be offering a fantastic range of exciting activities on trails throughout the country.

“Northern Ireland offers a wide range of unique trails both on land and water,” explains Chris Armstrong from CAAN. “The main aim of the day is to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to get outdoors and make use of their local trails. We are also hoping to promote the idea that we need to protect and maintain our natural environment and National Trails Day will also hopefully raise awareness of the great work of the key agencies who strive to do this.”

CAAN is organising National Trails Day with the support of financial partners Inland Waterways of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Waterways Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland. All events organised for National Trails Day 2010 will be listed on www.nationaltrailsday.co.uk with full contact information of the organisers. For some of the events, places are limited so anybody interested in taking part in an event is encouraged to get in touch with the relevant event organisers ahead of the day so as not to be disappointed.  

For more information, click here.