Leave No Trace and Responsible Recreation in Donegal

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The Bluestack Centre in Donegal was the location for the Walking and Hillwalking training course as part of the newly developed activity training funded by Donegal LCDC.

This course was to enable participants to protect, preserve and enhance Donegal’s upland, coastal and inland environments through responsible outdoor recreation. The training courses are available to the following five categories – walking and hiking groups, on and off-road cycling groups, watersport groups, adventure race and festival organisers, and local communities.

Key learnings from the course were:

An understanding of the concept and organisation of Leave No Trace in Ireland.
The motivations for participation in outdoor recreation.
The seven principles of Leave No Trace and how you can apply them when out walking in the great outdoors.
Biodiversity – an understanding of outdoor landscape and habitats.
Developing awareness of making good decisions to help reduce your impact when you are outdoors.
This course will allow those who took part to educate fellow walkers within their walking or hiking group on how to enjoy and engage with the outdoors responsibly and protect and preserve the environments they explore. On Saturday, following a one-hour presentation ‘Why Should We Care; Biodiversity’  the group moved the short distance to the Díseart area for a walk and further outdoor exploration of the seven Leave No Trace Principles, while also exploring the abundant biodiversity of the area. Díseart is home to a historic site including evidence of a megalithic tomb, ancient graveyard, a mass rock, and St Colmcille’s Well. The landowner, Con Boyle, was on site, along with a Local Heritage group member, making preparation for an imminent archaeological dig, intended to further research the importance of the site.  The site, and short walk, with abundant bird, plant and insect, geologic and heritage interest, was ideal for the Leave No Trace focus on responsible outdoor recreation practice of this course.

Lunch was packed and enjoyed outdoors, at Díseart.

If you would like information on upcoming courses in this project email:training@leavenotraceireland.org