Why Leave No Trace?

At the heart of Leave No Trace
are seven principles based on
an abiding respect for nature,
culture and people.

As more people seek the beauty of the outdoors, our collective mark on the environment increases.

Over the last several years individual sports and activities such as hillwalking, open water swimming, running and cycling have experienced unprecedented growth. There has been a substantial increase in people spending time outdoors for health and wellbeing as well as new visitors to the outdoors.

This increased activity has led to a dramatic increase in litter, water pollution, as well as disturbance to vegetation, wildlife, livestock and other people with many new visitors unsure what positive actions they can take to enjoy the outdoors responsibly now and for future generations to enjoy.

Leave No Trace is Ireland’s only Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation. Techniques designed to minimise the environmental and social impacts in these areas are incorporated in and promoted by the national Leave No Trace education programme as the following seven principles:

  1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
  2. Be Considerate of Others
  3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
  4. Travel and Camp Responsibly
  5. Leave What You Find
  6. Dispose of Waste Properly
  7. Protect Nature from Fire


To sustain a healthy and vibrant outdoor environment these are the problems Leave No Trace Ireland solves.

Wildlife Impacts

Disturbance, Altered Behaviour

Vegetation Impacts

Vegetation Loss, the introduction of invasive species.

Water Resource Impacts

Siltation, sedimentation, pollution.

Cultural Resource Impacts

Congestion, theft or damage to cultural feature.

Soil Impacts

Soil Compaction

Social Impacts

Crowding, conflicts between groups.

Leave No Trace is the Solution. Limiting impacts that come with the increase of recreational use.

Here's how to help.

About Us

Promoting Ethical Recreation

Leave No Trace is an outdoor ethics education programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.

Rights & Responsibilities

This is the place to find out more about everyone’s access rights and responsibilities in Ireland’s outdoors. Leave No Trace Ireland applies to all public lands, coastal and inland waterways.

Information for the public

If you’re a member of the public wanting to enjoy some fresh air in a local park, or a dog walker, hill walker, mountain biker, horse rider or kayaker, there is information for you and much more.

Managing the Outdoors

Ireland’s outdoors is managed by a variety of people and organisations and many of them earn their living from the land. It is all of our responsibilities to respect each other’s activities and interests in the outdoors.

We Are Member Driven

This member driven organisation teaches people of all ages how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly, and is the most widely accepted outdoor ethics programme in Ireland. Through relevant and targeted education, research and outreach, Leave No Trace Ireland ensures the long-term health of our natural world.

In its simplest form, Leave No Trace Ireland is about making good decisions to protect the world around you – the world we all enjoy. Do your part to pass our nation’s heritage of outdoor recreation to future generations by joining Leave No Trace Ireland.


Our core values are


Ethical decision making

We believe in the value of research to inform ethical, evidence based, responsible decision making.


Education as empowerment

We believe in the importance of enjoyable, stimulating education and skills development as a way of empowering people to make good choices, enthusing them to connect with nature and taking personal responsibility for the health and well-being of our planet.


Respect for our Environment

We respect that while people may hold different views on how to protect our environment, we all work towards a common goal of respect and love for that environment. We believe that Ireland has fantastic ecosystems and habitats that deserve to be respected in their own right and not just because human beings value them.


The Value of Relationships

We value the contributions of people and the relationships with our different partners in helping us to achieve our collective goals.


Empowerment of People

We believe in the transformative power of the outdoors in terms of health, well-being and social inclusion.


Integrity in all we do

We will be open, honest and transparent and try to be the best we can in everything we do.