This year, Leave No Trace Ireland and Gas Networks Ireland are delighted to announce the 2021 Hot Spot Programme. Leave No Trace Ireland – the national organisation dedicated to protecting the outdoors – has designed a bespoke programme to undertake vital restoration work in the chosen site, Glengarra Wood, Co. Tipperary. This project is the first of its kind in Europe.
The Hot Spot Programme is a critical initiative designed to address areas impacted by outdoor activities and heavy use. Using Leave No Trace solutions, these areas can be restored and thrive again. The chosen location receives a unique, site-specific blend of training, expert consulting, education programmes, service projects, monitoring programmes and more. With site-specific Leave No Trace measures in place, the area is equipped to bounce back from impacts and recover its natural qualities. The result is a sustainable outdoor area that is on the road to recovery.
The purpose of the Hot Spot Programme is to teach people how to make responsible decisions when participating in outdoor activities, to promote a sense of stewardship for the natural world and an understanding of how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Gas Network Ireland’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Christina van der Kamp, said:
“At Gas Networks Ireland we have a long history of supporting educational programmes in communities across Ireland. Supporting biodiversity is a key part of our sustainability strategy and Leave No Trace shares this common goal with us.
“Our unique partnership on the Hot Spot Programme demonstrates our commitment to promoting the importance of biodiversity, not only amongst our stakeholders but with our colleagues and the communities where we work.
“We’re working to support a cleaner, more sustainable future for Ireland.”
Glengarra Wood is a former demesne woodland that has been severely impacted from littering and trail erosion. Gas Networks Ireland employees will get involved in multi-day actions for biodiversity, working in collaboration with Coillte and the local Burncourt Community Group to restore this area of natural beauty.
On behalf of Burncourt Community Council, Breeda Fitzgerald added “Burncourt Community Council/Mountain Lodge Restoration Group are delighted to be involved with the Leave No Trace Project in Glengarra Wood. The local community have a long association with Glengarra, and the amazing natural recreational amenity it offers on their doorstep. As such, any initiative in protecting and encouraging responsible enjoyment of our environment is most welcome.”
The team will spend two days on-site working to remove invasive species, clear access for recreation and remove litter and waste. On the second of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Impact Days, the team will hold a Hot Spot BioBlitz. This will involve recording all species sightings and collating them into one database to compliment the development of the biodiversity action plan.
Commenting on the programme, Leave No Trace Ireland Advanced Trainer and Project Officer, Mark O’Connor, said, “The Hot Spot Programme is a great opportunity to enhance Glengarra Wood by working with the local community to limit the impacts of outdoor recreation and enhance understanding of its environmental value.
“We are looking forward to working with Gas Networks Ireland to carry out this crucial restoration work whilst launching our very first Hot Spot Programme.”
The Leave No Trace Ireland Hot Spot Programme with Gas Networks Ireland will take place this summer, with on-site CSR Impact Days planned for August.
For further information contact:
Leave No Trace Ireland | F28 KD63
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.
Gas Networks Ireland own, operate, build and maintain the natural gas network in Ireland. They connect all customers to the natural gas network, regardless of their supplier. They also look after planned and unplanned maintenance of the natural gas network.
The Hot Spot Programme is an initiative that implements successful programmes at geographically and environmentally diverse areas across the country experiencing severe impacts caused by recreational use.
Coillte, Ireland’s largest commercial forestry company manages approximately 7% of the country’s land on a fully sustainable basis.”