Since 1998 – the situation within Great Britain with respect to access has changed significantly following the introduction of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act (England and Wales) 2000 and the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. As Northern Ireland does not benefit from similar legislation, Sport Northern Ireland continues to work in partnership with other agencies to create opportunities and facilities for sustainable and responsible recreation in the outdoors with a particular focus on public land access.

Access issues are difficult and controversial in Northern Ireland and local landowners often cite concerns over their liabilities, under the current Occupiers’ Liability Legislation. Sport NI continues to work to alleviate these fears by providing information and guidance to users on their personal responsibilities in the outdoors.

Sport Northern Ireland is an active member of the Countryside Recreation Network which is a network which:

  • Gives easy access to information on countryside and related recreation matters.
  • Reaches organisations and individuals in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
  • Networks thousands of interested people.