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The Northern Ireland Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) is an umbrella organisation which brings together all groups and bodies that have an interest in, or involvement with, countryside recreation.

This includes:
- those participating in countryside recreation activities;
- local and central government organisations;
- farmers and landowners;
- environmental and community organisations;
- youth organisations; and
- providers of outdoor education.

The Network was established in 1999 following a recommendation in the Northern Ireland Countryside Recreation Strategy (1998) and is tasked with the strategic development and management of countryside recreation across Northern Ireland.

The Network's three main objectives are to:

- ensure that recreation use of the NI countryside is managed in a
  way which provides a high quality and consistent experience for
  all recreational owners;
- ensure that new and developing facilities for countryside recreation 
  within NI are resourced, supported, provided and managed in a
  strategic way; and
- raise the public's awareness of countryside recreation opportunities
  within NI and encourage participation in countryside recreation by
  well-informed users.

The Network is also responsible for undertaking practical countryside recreation projects. These projects are delivered for the Network by a Company, Countryside Recreation: Northern Ireland. The company is linked directly to the Network through its membership.

During the next three years (April 2002-April 2005), the Network will undertake to:-

- develop a further five Waymarked Ways and a network of local 
  themed walks
- develop a further fifteen ecotrails;
- develop a network of off-road cycling routes including family, cross
  country and downhill;
- develop a network of off-road horse riding routes;
- increase the opportunities for canoeing, including the development
  of long-distance canoe touring trails;
- prepare codes of conduct highlighting good practice, for individual
  countryside recreation activities;
- provide training and act in an advisory role to those involved in
  countryside recreation development and management;
- audit the countryside recreation resource and record by using a
  computerised mapping system;
- undertake a research programme from which informed decisions
  about provision and management can be made;  and
- provide a public information service which gives accurate
  information concerning countryside recreation activities.

             e: [email protected]


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Last modified: Wednesday April 25, 2020.