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Enjoying the outdoors key to Riverine Environmental Explorers

21 December 2020
If there was a lesson to be learned from the various lockdowns of 2020 it is to not take nature and our local environment for granted.
With increased time spent at home and with different travel restrictions, 2020 has given some people the chance to explore our district's wild places. Increasingly, we are realising that spending time in nature is not only good for our physical health, but it is also essential our mental health.
Spending time in the great outdoors has been the focus of the Riverine Environmental Explorers, which is a strand of the PEACE IV funded Riverine Environmental Project managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB). Participants of this cross-border programme come from across the Strabane/Lifford area and demonstrate that you are never too young or too old to discover new places.
Environmental Explorers is delivered by Far and Wild and it gives its participants the opportunity to explore wild places on bike, river, and foot. The programme has been designed to help people realise how much the local environment has to offer through adventure activities and heritage walks.
Lawrence McBride from Far and Wild said: "Exploring wild places and spending time in nature has never been more important. Environmental Explorers gives participants the opportunity to forget some of the other pressures that they may have in life while at the same time discovering new places, learning new skills, and making new friends."
Like with all aspects of life at the moment, this programme has had to adapt to ensure that they are following current Covid-19 restriction guidelines. These include smaller group sizes, social distancing and increased hygiene measures.
Allan Bogle, Riverine Environmental Project Manager DCSDC, added: "Key to the future of our wild places is to enable people to connect with them.
"Environmental Explorers gives people the skills and confidence to enjoy nature which will hopefully give them the desire to help protect and conserve them for future generations."
The Riverine Environmental Project is funded by the European Union's PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).