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McEntee welcomes National Trails Day 2012

Shane McEntee, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with responsibility for forestry, today reminded the general public about National Trails Day, which takes place on Sunday, 7 October 2012, and encouraged people to enjoy Ireland’s many outdoor walking trails and activities on the day.

The Minister of State joined with Ms. Michelle O'Neill, MLA, Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development in Northern Ireland, to promote the event and the associated activities. National Trails Day is an all-Ireland event organised by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government, the National Trails Office of the Irish Sports Council, Coillte and Fáilte Ireland along with Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland. The Day is aimed at increasing awareness of the recreational facilities that are available to everyone and a range of events are being organised and run by volunteer local guides throughout the country. This year, the fifth year of the event, over 150 events are taking place across the country.  Minister McEntee added that National Trails Day provides an opportunity for people to enjoy Ireland’s landscape, biodiversity and heritage.

Minister of State McEntee noted that Ireland's forests, including the ten forest parks and more than 150 recreation sites operated by Coillte, provide a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities. He also commented, "People are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of outdoor exercise for both our physical and mental wellbeing. Our forest trails represent the longest trail network in Ireland. I would encourage members of the public to use National Trails Day as an opportunity to get outside and explore our forest resource and enjoy their natural beauty and biodiversity".

A full listing of events is available on www.nationaltrailsday.ie.

PR19312 National Ploughing 2012 - 03.10.12

Date Released: 03 October 2012