First Graduates from the Certificate of Nature Animation

First graduates awarded Certificate of Nature Animation on completion of novel course developed by Leave No Trace Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Munster Technological University 


May 5th 2022:   11 students were awarded with Certificates in Nature Animation by The Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, at an awards ceremony in the Custom House Visitor Centre, Dublin. 

The Certificate in Nature Animation was developed jointly by Leave No Trace Ireland (LNT), the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and Munster Technological University (MUT) to provide a foundation of knowledge of the key roles and responsibilities of a Conservation Ranger and is aimed at those interested in pursuing a career in outdoor pursuits, conservation, ecology and wildlife biology. 

The course took place between April and December 2021 and combined online course work with three months of practical work experience with students working in the field with NPWS rangers.  

Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan TD, congratulated the students on their achievement, “Last year, I had the pleasure of launching this course and meeting the students. I was very impressed by their commitment to Ireland’s natural heritage and was particularly delighted to hear that students undertook work-based learning at our National Parks, Nature Reserves and on some of our LIFE projects, working alongside some of our finest NPWS staff. The opportunity to learn from some of our best, through blended learning and out in the field, is something few students ever get to do. I’d like to wish the students the very best in their future careers” 

Dr Noel Doyle, Leave No Trace Project Coordinator and Research Officer, said that in collaborating in the development of the course, LNT, NPWS and MUT had an evident vision of what they wanted to achieve and the value that the successful graduates from the course could bring to outdoor recreation and the conservation and management of our outdoor spaces.  

“We knew the elements that we needed to bring together in the course to ensure that it was truly relevant and would deliver real and lasting results, not alone for the participants, but in the management and protection of our outdoor spaces, wildlife habitats and environment. The graduation of the first class from the Certificate in Nature Animation course marks an important milestone, and I wish them every success in their future careers.” 

The Certificate in Animation Course has been renewed to run in 2022, and the new intake of students have just completed their orientation at MTU.  





The National Parks and Wildlife Service

The NPWS plays a vital role in protecting, preserving, and promoting Ireland’s natural heritage. It owns over 87,000 hectares of land including 6 National Parks and 78 Nature Reserves. It is a line division of the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage and is the primary unit in Ireland with responsibility for safeguarding our natural heritage.

The role of the NPWS is to:

  • Secure the conservation of a representative range of ecosystems to maintain and enhance populations of flora and fauna in Ireland.
  • Designate and advise on the protection of habitats and species identified for nature conservation having particular regard to the need to consult with interested parties.
  • Make the necessary arrangements for the implementation of National and EU legislation and policies for nature conservation and biodiversity including the EU Habitats and Birds Directives, and for the ratification and implementation of the range of international Conventions and Agreements relating to the natural heritage.
  • Manage, maintain, and develop State-owned National Parks and Nature Reserves.
  • Promote awareness of natural heritage and biodiversity issues through education, outreach to schools and engaging with stakeholders.

In the context of the intern course, for more information on National Parks and Wildlife Service please contact:

Dr. Conor O’Malley
Strategy and Operations, NPWS,
90 North King Street, Dublin 7.


Munster Technological University

On the 1st of January 2021 Institute of Technology Tralee and Cork Institute of Technology came together to form Munster Technological University – a multi-campus technological university, contributing to the region through the provision of academic programmes that support student development and opportunities, education, and research. MTU has an extensive and impressive regional footprint with six campuses across the South-West region in Cork and Kerry, and a student body of 18,000.

Succeeding together we are:

  • 6 campuses across Cork & Kerry
  • 18,000+ learners
  • 140+ courses and programmes
  • 2,000+ staff developing and supporting learners.
  • 120+ links with leading colleges worldwide
  • Six research centres of excellence
  • 100+ clubs and societies
  • Partnering industry with dynamic cross-sector relationships with start-ups, innovators, and industry leading companies
  • Leading research by developing multi-disciplinary, industry-focused research programmes with national and international partners.
  • Investing in the future with state-of-the-art research, education, enterprise, cultural and sports facilities


Leave No Trace Ireland

Leave No Trace Ireland is an environmental non-profit organisation developed around an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme. It is 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

For more information on Leave No Trace Ireland, please contact:

Grace Fox, Communications Officer, Leave No Trace Ireland ([email protected])