A new initiative to develop outdoor recreation activities on Irish bogs has been announced.

The Government-led partnership with Bord na Mona will see an initial allocation of funding of €50,000.

Speaking in Co Offaly today, Minister for Rural and Community Development Heather Humphreys said the initiative is about capitalising on the huge tourism potential in the midlands.

She said: "My department is already progressing an excellent strategy with Coillte in terms of developing our forest parks – places that are great locations for families and tourists alike to visit.

"And today we are taking the next step in relation to our boglands – turning them into ideal locations for recreational use."

The minister said the plane aims to "develop and manage high-quality, enjoyable and safe access to our great outdoors".

"It's about opening up these hidden gems so that more people can reap the benefits," she added.

Ger Breen, Head of Land and Habitats, Bord na Móna said: "The development of recreational spaces within our estate will provide both health and well-being benefits for our local communities and support the growth of sustainable tourism within the midlands, helping to regenerate the local economy."