Colin Stafford-Johnson hosts first Leave No Trace Ireland Podcast in Knocksink Wood

Leave No Trace Ireland, the Community Foundation for Ireland and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) are delighted to announce the launch of the first Leave No Trace Podcast Series.

20th September 2022: The series is part of the 2021 Community Engagement Project, a bespoke project which undertook vital restoration work in the Special Area of Conservation at the Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve, Co. Wicklow.

The Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve is an area of unique beauty that attracts many visitors each year. Located beside the Wicklow town of Enniskerry on the Dublin border, it is highly accessible to much of the populations of both Wicklow and Dublin. With such a large number of visitors, the effects of negative environmental impacts to the nature reserve were increasingly evident in this sensitive habitat. The aim of the Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve Community Engagement Project was to work with the local community in a collective effort to restore this beautiful site.

Hosted by renowned BBC nature documentarian, Colin Stafford-Johnson, the podcast series explores the important role that the Knocksink Wood plays in the Irish ecosystem, and how this habitat has changed over the years. The podcast touches on the impacts to biodiversity in this woodland, including ivy cutting, invasive species and Ash Dieback.

Discussing the objective of the podcast, Colin Stafford-Johnson said,

As a child, I would visit Knocksink Wood Nature Reserve, and it continues to be a woodland that has something to offer each week of the year. It is important to look at our relationship with nature and the detrimental impacts that can occur to these areas of natural beauty that are so rich in biodiversity. Bringing awareness to how we go about protecting and enjoying our most delicate of outdoor spaces and Special Areas of Conservation can bring about much needed impactful change.

In Episode Two, Mr Stafford-Johnson interviews Knocksink Wood Site Manager and NPWS Conservation Ranger, Andrea Webb. In the interview, Ms Webb discusses her role protecting the woodland, and explains that as we visit this special place, we should play our part to protect it too.

In Episode Three, Padraic Creedon, Leave No Trace Ireland’s Education Officer and Ecologist, discusses the beacon impacts in Knocksink Wood as a result of increased recreational activity. These impacts include including litter, dog fouling, graffiti, campfires and camping. Mr Creedon also discusses the practical ways in which we can protect Knocksink Wood and enjoy it responsibly.

Speaking about the podcast launch, Leave No Trace Ireland’s Communication Officer, Grace Fox said,

“Podcasts are an exciting new medium of communication for us here at Leave No Trace Ireland. We’re thrilled to share this series, and explore how we can create additional podcasts in the future. We’d like to share our sincere thanks to Colin Stafford-Johnson, the Community Foundation for Ireland and the NPWS for helping us to promote responsible outdoor recreation in Knocksink Wood, through the wonderful medium of podcasting.”

The first episode, Welcome to Knocksink Wood, will launch on Tuesday, 20th Sept 2022, and will be available on Spotify, Podbean and Google Podcasts. Episodes Two and Three will air on the Tuesday 27th Sept and 4th October, respectively.

For more on the Knocksink Wood Community Engagement Project, watch the project video series here.

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Media Contact:

Grace Fox, Communication Officer, Leave No Trace Ireland

Leave No Trace Ireland | F28 KD63

E: [email protected]

P:    + 353 (0)1 9059009



Notes for Editor:

Leave No Trace Ireland is Ireland’s only outdoor ethics programme, which promotes the responsible use of the outdoors. Through education, research and partnerships, Leave No Trace Ireland enables and supports individuals, communities, organisations and companies in reducing the environmental impact of outdoor activities.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service is part of the Heritage Division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage who are responsible for managing the Irish State’s nature conservation responsibilities under national and European law.

The Community Engagement Project is an initiative that implements successful programmes at geographically and environmentally diverse areas across the country experiencing severe impacts caused by recreational use through engagement with local communities and the creation of educational resources.