Leave No Trace Ireland Launches Ambitious New Strategic Plan 2021-2024

An ambitious new Strategic Plan to inspire responsible outdoor recreation over the next three years has been launched by Minister of State for Heritage, Malcolm Noonan TD.  

In February 2021 the stakeholder engagement process launched with representation from Leave No Trace core members and the public through interviews and surveys. As a result of this process, Leave No Trace Ireland has a new mission statement,

“Empowering environmental stewardship and responsible recreation across the island of Ireland that is in harmony with our shared outdoor heritage through:

  • Actions grounded in research
  • Advocating for sustainable enjoyment of the outdoors
  • Educating environmental stewards
  • Engagement in environmental projects
  • Partnerships with stakeholders”

and a new vision: “To inspire responsible outdoor recreation.”

Speaking at the launch of the new Leave No Trace Ireland Strategic Plan, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said the new plan reflects a changing relationship with the great outdoors and a need for stakeholders to work together in its stewardship.

“We have all witnessed a remarkable reconnection to nature over the past year and this new Strategic Plan reflects that – and more. The ‘Great Outdoors’ has never been as important to us as they have been since the onset of Covid in 2020. Where the pandemic confined us, nature freed us, and many of us sought sanctuary in nature, be it through general recreation to more adventurous hiking, boating and camping. Looking after our natural heritage is a collaborative endeavour; we all play a role, and that is why a far-reaching plan such as this is welcomed.”

Leave No Trace Ireland Chief Executive, Maura Kiely said: “A considerable amount of work went into preparing the new Strategic Plan 2021-2024. The new Strategic Plan will respond to Covid-19 as well as securing adequate resources to scale the organisation to deliver an accessible, effective national framework on responsible outdoor recreation for all stakeholders.”

Leave No Trace Ireland Chairperson, Paddy Doherty stated, “During 2020, the organisation undertook substantial work to design a new Strategic Plan for the period 2021 to 2024. This was a major piece of work which involved our core members, trainers, members and the public in the process. I am delighted to share that the final Strategic Plan is now approved and will guide the organisation’s development over the next three years.”

The new strategic plan 2021-2024 outlines five overarching strategic actions for Leave No Trace Ireland for the next three years. It is a major part of the Leave No Trace programme which will guide the organisation in the delivery of its vision, mission and values. The plan is practically focussed, and the Executive will develop annual work plans based on the ambitions under each of the five strategic actions. Key performance in achieving all actions will be tracked.

Throughout 2020, the board of Leave No Trace Ireland engaged in several strategic planning discussions. This process was coordinated by the Leave No Trace Ireland Strategy Subgroup, established by the board and led by Dr Richard Thorn, an expert independent facilitator. The strategic planning process began with a review of the previous 5-year strategy and an environmental scan. A SWOT analysis, which focused on the organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as external threats and opportunities followed. The Strategy Subgroup reviewed the vision, mission and values and hosted board discussions for input. A full evaluation of Leave No Trace’s strategic objectives was undertaken and success indicators. A draft report was prepared and was reviewed in depth by the board.

A final version of the strategic plan was approved by the board and Leave No Trace Ireland are now in the process of implementing it.

You can view the full Strategic Plan 2021-2024 here.

Strategic Plan Launch