Get Into Nature and enjoy the great outdoors

The MyNI Team in DAERA is embarking on a new ‘Get Into Nature’ campaign with partners Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, Outdoor Recreation NI, Public Health Agency and others to support Tourism NI’s 2020 Recovery  campaign. 

 ‘Get Into Nature’, will take us to the hundreds of hidden gems that we have in our mountains, our valleys, our coastlines, parks and forests.

‘Get Into Nature’, aims to encourage people across Northern Ireland to get out into Nature, enjoy it without damaging it, do what we can to help protect it and to be prepared for all conditions and events that may occur when we’re out and about.  We are here to help visitors build their outdoor skills, and to provide the information they need to enjoy and the environment they are visiting. Let’s immerse ourselves in our beautiful land through discovery, let’s protect our precious environment which gives us such inspiration, our food and water, supports our health and wellbeing, as well as our economy.

For many families during lockdown the garden or the local green spaces became the real focus of our attention and with the weather being unseasonably good we took every opportunity to walk or cycle, to grow our own, to plant seeds, to study nature around us and be thankful for our little patch of heaven! It almost felt like we were hidden from what was happening elsewhere.

We now see the world completely differently and for most of us we appreciate the true value of nature. We weren’t always so connected to our environment in this way, as we travelled further afield to explore and find adventure but now we appreciate the beauty around us, right on our very doorstep…we’ve come to…

‘Embrace a Giant Spirit &

Get Into Nature!’

Nature not only inspires us but supports our mental and emotional wellbeing, reduces anxiety and helps us deal with challenges in life that we all face. We’ve all been guilty of not being ‘present in the moment’ thanks to social media, gadgets and digital interruptions but getting into nature helps us de-stress, focus and put things into perspective.

As we gaze out of our windows and day dream about a dander in the park, or a trek up a mountain side we might think about how nature appeared to change and thrive during the lockdown period. 

Social media was abundant with posts sharing surprising wildlife encounters during lockdown. Visitors have reported sightings of dolphins in untypically calm waters in Florence, goats taking over Welsh streets, people are suddenly reporting more birdsong and becoming aware of nature around them. Animals were also reported to roam more freely across a world that briefly saw reduced traffic and reduced noise-pollution levels. It would be nice to keep it this way.

In recent days we are seeing people responding to the latest easing of lockdown restrictions and visiting our forests, beaches and country parks. Lockdown in an unexpected way has reconnected us with nature, the nostalgic pleasure of water fights, bug hunts and picking strawberries in the garden, quiz nights on our front doorsteps (while adhering to social distancing) with neighbours that we hadn’t seen in ages. We have discovered a deeper value and respect for each other, our community and for our environment.  

We will never again take for granted our stunning landscape as we were unable to visit our favourite hidden gems and attractions, like the spectacular Mourne Mountains.

This Ice Age granite range is home to the highest mountain in Northern Ireland and boasts the ultimate thrill seekers 3 day challenge…the legendary Six Peak Challenge, never mind the breath-taking views! The Mourne Mountains may not be Everest but, if not prepared, there are real dangers to be found there and therefore they should be treated with caution and respect. 

Northern Ireland is rich with so many beautiful wild and wonderful places from our rugged coastlines, deep forests, breath-taking beaches and giant mountains, join us on our journey over the next eight weeks…and Get Into Nature.

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