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Project News


Outdoor Tourism Project draws to a close

The Outdoor Tourism Project finally closed in March 2015 following 3 years of hard work and great achievements.

We'd like to share with you some of our highlights from the project:

We helped over 7000 people in our communities have a go at some of the excellent outdoor activities on their doorstep through Taster Sessions. We wanted to get people hooked on theoutdoors and shouting about it from the rooftops!

We worked with 1700 individuals to help them develop outdoor skills, improve their confidence and feed into local outdoor clubs. As a result there has been a 46% increase in local club memberships during the project.

We engaged with over 1000 businesses and individuals through our Outdoor Tourism specific training courses and helped raise awareness of the importance of tourism and the opportunities available to them.

"At the start of the project we had 26 members, now we have 130…It was so valuable for us"

Athy Triathlon Club, Kildare

"They actively encouraged me…when I was feeling doubtful they motivated me to go for it. Without their help and encouragement I wouldn't be here now!"

Bushcraft Calling, Conwy County Borough Council


Thanks to all the partners for their hard work, and to all those who took part in making the Outdoor Tourism Project such a success!



Business Support Workshops
Closing date 15-10-13

The Outdoor Tourism Project have developed a programme of business support workshops over the next few months, to further support you to develop and grow your business further. Attached is some information on a series of workshops that we have arranged and if you are interested in attending any of these please contact us to book yourself on. All the workshops are free of charge and the project will fund the cost of your travel and accommodation We know they will fill up quickly so early booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

If you are interested in this please get in touch so that we can discuss your needs and/or complete an expression of interest form. Please note that the closing date for expression of interest is Thursday 15th October 2013.

If you require any further information please do not hesitate to contact Jon Merrick on 01492 574201, jon.merrick@conwy.gov.uk or Sioned Green on 01286 679 211, e-bost: sionedmairgreen@gwynedd.gov.uk

Download - Programme of business support workshops (PDF)
Download - Expression of Interest Form (.doc)


Skills Programme gets off to a flying start

As August drew to a close our Outdoor Tourism Instructor Trainees completed their 6 weeks training and induction. They have been based at Plas y Brenin and mentored by Mike Raine, a senior Instructor at PyB who has been seconded to the Outdoor Partnership to manage this training scheme.

During the six weeks the seven trainees, Mel, Jo, Shian, Sheree, Will, Dylan and Fraser have been hillwalking, rock climbing, mountaineering, gorge walking, sea level traversing, mountain biking kayaking and canoeing. They have visited a range of outdoor centres and have observed some of the area’s most experienced instructors at work.

The next phase will see the team splitting their time between NVQ work at Llandrillo College and gaining on the job experience in local centres leading up to a longer centre placement next summer.

Already the trainees are on the road to instructor qualifications as they grab this fantastic opportunity with both hands provided by The Outdoor Tourism Project. The next phase will be to try and set up a similar scheme using Welsh experience in Ireland.


GET ACTIVE! – Enjoy the Great Outdoors for FREE

Conwy and Gwynedd today released information on their 2013 Summery Activity Programme which is targeting people who want to try their hand at rock climbing, kayaking, surfing and various other kinds of outdoor adventure

Free taster and development sessions in all kinds of outdoor activities are being offered over the next few weeks to people living in Gwynedd and Conwy.

The sessions are provided through the Outdoor Tourism Project, which is financed through Interreg 4A (Ireland Wales Programme), Conwy County and Gwynedd Councils, and will be held at various venues throughout the two counties.

Full details about activities in each local area are given in the Get Active Leaflet which is available at all Tourist Information Centres, Leisure Centres and Libraries.  It can also be downloaded here.
There are two kinds of sessions: taster sessions for those who want to try their hand at something completely new, and development sessions for those who have some experience of their chosen activity. More information about what to expect can be found in the Activity Descriptions document

Whilst the taster sessions have various minimum age limits, nearly all of them are suitable for children and adults alike.  For a limited number of participants, there will also be development courses in mountaineering, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, kite surfing, Nordic walking and sailing.

The aim of the sessions is for local people to see the potential of outdoor activities as leisure pursuits and also as a possible choice of career.

Councillor Graham Rees said, “We have such a wonderful outdoor environment in Conwy and it’s great to see initiatives like this to help people make the most of their natural surroundings. We’re also keen to encourage people to see this kind of activity as a potential career opportunity which can bring tourists into the area and promote the outdoor economy.”

If you would like to book your place on one or more of the activities listed, then please download and complete a Registration Form and Medical Consent for each person taking part and return it to:

CONWY OFFICE: Clare Sharples/Jon Merrick, Outdoor Tourism Project, Conwy Business Centre, Junction Way, Llandudno Junction, LL31 9XX

GWYNEDD OFFICE: Sioned Green, Outdoor Tourism Project, Tourism Marketing and Customer Care, Gwynedd Council, Caernarfon, LL55 1SH

Activity Programme 2013 click here
Activity Descriptions 2013 click here
Registration Form 2013 click here
Medical Consent Form 2013 click here

Please note that there are limited numbers and the return of this form does not constitute a guaranteed place on the Activity; a member of the team will contact you to confirm your place.



North Wales Environmental Charter Group (NWEOCG)

The Outdoor Tourism Project are proud supporters the North Wales Environmental Charter Group (NWEOCG). NWEOCG is a collection of outdoor activity providers who wish to ensure the sustainable management of activity venues whilst enabling a cohesive voice for consultation with external agencies, conservationists and land managers. By promoting environmental best practice and widely publicising the environmental charter, the group wishes to demonstrate the high level of environmental commitment from activity providers in North Wales.

Through regular meetings and other communications, NWEOCG will offer a platform for discussion, development and action to enable to the sustainable development of outdoor activities. The group is the process of developing environmental training for activity providers amongst other projects which will attend to area specific concerns.

For more information please contact chartergroup@snowdonia-active.com


Consultation & Research

Snowdonia Mountains & CoastWe are pleased to introduce the consultants who will be working on the project in the delivery of various work packages within the scope of the project.
Blue Sail have been appointed to explore the international tourism potential of outdoor tourism for the project. Their work will run between August and December 2012 and involves building a database of providers, identifying gaps and new opportunities through research and working with providers, and concluding by making marketing recommendations to attract international visitors to these beautiful destinations. The Blue Sail team working on this are Lorna Easton, Sheona Southern and Neen Kelly, who bring experience of successful outdoor tourism destinations including Scotland and the Lake District. The Sustainability Assessment Contract has been awarded to Marilyn Larden from Sustainable Travel International UK and the Equality Impact Assessment to Ian Baker of Catalyst.

Wavehill Limited have been appointed to undertake Project Evaluation and will be producing an evaluation framework for the project as well as providing baseline, mid-term and end of project evaluation reports.


Launch of OT project at Graignamanagh

Snowdonia Mountains & CoastThe launch of the Outdoor Tourism Project in the Barrow Valley area around was held @ Graignamanagh on Thursday 13 September 2012 , Which was on the second day of a three day series of meetings between the various partners which comprise the O.T. project.

This series of meetings consisted of meetings of the boards and the steering groups of the O.T. project. Also on the Thursday morning there was a very interesting workshop facilitated by Blue Sail a consultancy group engaged to examine the outdoor tourism potential of each of the partners in the project.

Members of the board and steering group also participated in sample outdoor tourism of activities such as cycling and canoeing on the River Barrow. The latter involved a journey through a challenging stretch of the river Barrow which required each boat to scale down two weirs and travel through two sets of rapids. Needless to say a number of participants ended up in the River. Following this activity the hosts Kilkenny LEADER Partnership invited all members of the participants to dinner to mark the launch of the O.T. project. (Picture is of attendees from the partnership groups at the launch with the River Barrow to the background of the group)


The BBC Good Food & Country File Show
NEC Birmingham

Snowdonia Mountains & CoastThe BBC Country File show has turned into an annual event for the Council who attend under the name of Snowdonia Mountains & Coast. The aim of attending the show is to attract as many people as possible to Snowdonia, whilst providing information about activities and places to stay in both Gwynedd and Conwy. This was the perfect opportunity promote the Outdoor Tourism Project.

We handed out free Ice cream samples from local provider 'Cadwaladers', who made Bilberry ice cream exclusively for the show (Bilberry was chosen as it grows natively high in the beautiful mountains of Snowdonia). This seemed enough to encourage people to come and visit the area, the show received in the region of 20,000-25,000 visitors a day. Overall it was a very successful event, with many individuals taking a great interest in taking part in outdoor adventure activities, not only in Gwynedd and Conwy but also in the partner areas in Ireland which is made accessible by the ferry from Holyhead.


Cameras for Young Orienteerers
Urdd Eisteddfod

UrddThe Urdd is the Welsh language movement for youths set up in 1922, its aim was to preserve the Welsh language and the arts by giving youths a chance to get together and communicate through the means of welsh. It promotes song, dance, active activities, as well as composing, poetry and art. The Eisteddfod is a week long celebration encompassing all things Welsh, giving individuals the chance to compete against one another demonstrating their skills and passion in the arts.

This year Gwynedd was the hosting county, with the festival being held in the Glynllifon Estate. In order to further promote the project in Gwynedd an Orienteering competition was held in the Field. Individuals battled the wind, rain and wellington boot sucking mud in order to collect stamps from various stands for their control cards. The winning individuals received a digital camera each.

There were four winners two on the Wednesday, 10 year old Ellie who completed the course in 25 minutes, and 13 year old Sioned Fon from Ysgol Brynrefail who completed the course in 23 minutes. On Friday the winners were 6 year old Cai from Bethel who like champ completed the course in an incredible 13 minutes and 12 year old Iwan from Caernarfon who completed the course in a staggering 8 minutes!

Councillor Paul Thomas, the Cabinet Member with responsibility for leisure on Gwynedd Council, said:

"We had a brilliant response to the competition and it's obvious that everybody enjoyed themselves – despite the wind and rain and the mud! I would like to thank all the contestants who took part, and congratulate the four winners on their success. Our objective was to get young people interested in outdoor activities. We want to see children and young people able to take full advantage of what we have on our doorstep, and hope to attract people from outside Gwynedd to see how much we have to offer."


EU Day

EU DayOn the 9th May 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union with a declaration calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool their coal and steel production as “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”. This was the very sector which had created World War II with the countries he had called upon almost destroying each other. Reconciliation was a brave thing to imagine at that time.

In 1985, the 9th May became Europe Day.To mark the occasion the Welsh Government invited European Projects running in the area to display their project information at the Offices in Llandudno Junction. Outdoor Tourism proudly attended along with other EU projects including the Age Friendly Communities which is another project part funded by the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013



Plas Y BreninBusinesses and organisations joined forces to launch an exciting new tourism project at Plas y Brenin, Capel Curig on Tuesday 27th March.  The event was attended by over guests; representative from the six partner organisations including the Major and Deputy Major from Dun Laoghaire and Kildare as well as representatives from various businesses from the outdoor tourism sector.

Jon Merrick, Outdoor Tourism Project Manager stated:

“This project aims to engage both local people and businesses to develop the outdoor tourism sector; it will support businesses to recruit local people who will have the skills that businesses need, through the development of a new outdoor instructor apprenticeship programme.  It will look at new and exciting marketing initiatives, and importantly it will look to provide the thrill for those who seek active outdoor pursuits, by enhancing existing activities and developing new products. The message is that Conwy and its partners aim to be the premier locations for active outdoor tourism.”

Alan Williams, Head Plas Menai said:

“As a local employer I am delighted to see that this project is looking to develop an apprenticeship programme for outdoor instructors as we, like most employers, want to recruit local people with the right skills into our Outdoor centres. The industry has wanted a nationally recognised training programme, so I am delighted to support this project.”

Project Partners

Conwy Council