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Let your feet do the talking this Sunday - O'Neill

29 September, 2011 - by Michelle O'Neill

Forestry Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA was joined by her southern counterpart Shane McEntee TD to urge the public to join in on a wide range of events planned for the celebration of National Trails Day this Sunday

National Trails Day is a celebration of Ireland’s wonderful variety of trails and the opportunity they provide for everyone to enjoy some of our most beautiful countryside, forests, mountains and lakes.

Minister O’Neill said: “Attracting the public to take part in the range of activities which will be on offer for free this Sunday, is what the National Trails day is all about. This year the emphasis is on “come and try” with particular events organised to attract the younger and more mature participants.

“I want to catch the interest of those who haven’t before considered going out or using a trail, or maybe those who don’t know where to start. There are many different trails aimed at many different users across Ireland, and National Trails Day is intended to promote the diversity of what we have to offer.”

She added: “For the fourth year running my Department are participating in National Trails Day in co-operation with our southern colleagues in Coillte. In particular I welcome the involvement of our partners who are hosting a wide variety of interesting and fun events in Forest Parks and woodlands.

“I would urge the public to let their feet do the talking this Sunday and make the most of the numerous events that have been organised free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity to visit local woodlands and forests. Where not only can they learn more about our natural environment but also experience the physical and mental health benefits of our forests and of course have an enjoyable day out.”

This year National Trails Day will again be an all-island event, with support partners including DARD Forest Service. In keeping with previous years, daily access charges will be waived on National Trails Day at all Forest Service recreation areas where access charges are usually applied.

Events are being hosted in DARD Forest Service woodlands and there is certain to be something suitable for most tastes. Favour Royal Forest offers a traditional guided forest walk, Birding in Bryansford is available at Tollymore, Mazes and Gardens can be explored at Castlewellan Forest Park, and you can “Go Nuts” about Red Squirrels at Gortin Glen – and there is much much more!

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