An innovative new training programme to create awareness and educate outdoor recreational users in Donegal on responsible use of their environment was launched in Letterkenny on Thursday 8th November. This new training programme is led by Leave No Trace Ireland, the national centre for outdoor ethics, in partnership with Donegal Local Development Company CLG (DLDC).
This exciting new pilot is funded from the Donegal DLDC and LEADER and worth over €100,000. It is the first of its kind in Ireland and will support outdoor recreational groups and communities by providing them with a series of free custom educational training workshops and resources to enable them to protect, preserve and enhance responsible outdoor recreation in Donegal’s upland, coastal and inland environments.
There has been a substantial increase in the numbers of participant’s engaging in outdoor recreation over the last ten years in Ireland. As a result, there is increasing evidence of environmental and social impacts on our countryside. The impacts on our countryside include in habitat loss, vegetation damage, soil impacts, destruction of important natural and cultural features and a general degradation of the natural environment. These impacts also affect the recreation experience for outdoor users. Leave No Trace Ireland has demonstrated through their environmental awareness programmes, that people can reduce their impact in the outdoors, while enhancing the recreation experience among communities. Therefore, the aim of this project is to increase the number of outdoor recreational and community groups in Donegal engaged in outdoor recreation to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and to lessen their impact on the natural environment whilst doing so.
The educational workshops and resources will be made available to the following five user groups within the Donegal area; walking and hiking groups, cycling groups (off road and on road), watersport groups (inland and coastal), adventure race and adventure festival organisers and community groups. They will be developed and promoted by project partners, Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland, a not for profit organisation with a wealth of experience in this field and will be bespoke to each outdoor activity, audience and local environment.
If you or your community fall into one of the five groups listed above and are interested in learning more about how you can help to preserve the areas you love and use for outdoor recreation, training courses are expected to start in March 2019.
For more information please visit www.leavenotraceireland.org
NOTES TO EDITOR
Leave No Trace Ireland is an environmental non-profit organisation which is based around an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. Techniques designed to minimise the environmental and social impacts on natural environments are incorporated in and promoted by the national Leave No Trace education programme under the following seven principles:
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Be Considerate of Others
3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
4. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
5. Leave What You Find
6. Dispose of Waste Properly
7. Minimise the Effects of Fire
The project has been supported by Donegal Local Community Development Committee (DLDC), Donegal Local Development CLG (DLDC), Donegal County Council and the Department of Rural & Community Development through grant aid received under The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development in Ireland 2014- 2020 “Europe investing in rural areas”.
For more information please contact:
Maura Lyons, | Manager
Leave No Trace Ireland
c/o Westport Civic Offices, Altamont Street,
Westport, Co Mayo
Phone: + (00353) 1 9059009
( Photo L-R Back: Eithne Larkin (Leave No Trace Ireland), Maire Aine Gardiner (Failte Ireland), Patsey Ryan (NPWS), Angela Warren (DLDC), Claire Bromley (NPWS), Owen Kelly (Inland Fisheries Ireland), Laura Martin (DCLC), Sean McCrudden (Garten OEC), Mary Mulvey (Irish Uplands), Ursula McPherson (ORNI), Padraic Fingleton, CEO, (DLDC) Frank Kelly (DLDC), Kieran McKevitt (Canoeing Ireland)
L-R Front: Suzanne Bogan (Donegal Coco), Beverly Magowan (ORNI), Maura Kiely (Leave No Trace Ireland)