The Eco-Tourism Offer
The project is positioned as a Centre for Eco-Tourism holidays and environmental appreciation and learning. The primary areas of activity include:
Discovering Nature……Learn-to Activities: 2 and 3 day holiday packages encompassing a range of activities such as Walking, Cycling, Orienteering, Birds for Beginners, Boating/Canoeing, Fly Fishing for Pike (2 day courses for beginners and improvers), Coarse Fishing (2 day courses for beginners and improvers), Wildlife Photography, Painting Spring Flowers/Watercolours, Sketching, Family Wildlife Safaris, Hedgerow Management for Wildlife
Conference Tourism: Particular opportunities have been identified for Public sector conferences/seminars and public service away days. Hosting of such conferences/seminars at the Ballybay Wetlands Centre will provide a unique setting and an example of environmental sustainability in practice.
Educational Tourism: A radically changed schools curriculum with strong emphasis on practical sciences and field studies has created strong demand for a range of fun outdoor ‘Learn To’ products that satisfy the new field study focus of the schools curriculum. Learning activities based on observing creatures in their natural habitat will include Mini-Beast Safaris, Pond-dipping, Fishing, Wild-life Sketching, Fresh Water Sampling, Soil Sampling, Learn about lichens. Ballybay Wetland Centre will also offer a programme of field-study days that will enthuse and enlighten teachers. The Centre will also provide a Centre for universities and third level colleges undertaking field-trips.
Environmental Conservation Tourism: Environmental conservation activities which will be offered include hedge laying, tree planting and wetland management to REPS planners, farmers, and contract workers to local authorities.
Competition Angling: There are 3 angling competitions held in the Ballybay area annually; 2 of these competitions are hosted in June and 1 in September. The competitions could be expanded in geographic terms so that at least some of the competition is hosted at the Ballybay Wetlands Centre.
Special Event Days: the Centre will host a range of special event days for the visitor market such as Bird Feeding, Artist in residence, Autumn Leaves-Painting workshops: Know your Water Colours.
Casual Visitor: The Centre will be marketed to the day visitor market as an eco-tourism centre and will provide an added facet to the County’s tourism product base, encouraging visitors to stay longer in the area. Day tickets will be available to visiting birdwatchers and to visiting coarse and pike anglers.