Malcolm Noonan T.D. Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform today launched a national awareness campaign focusing on littering, responsible dog management, and the dangers of campfires and appealing to the public to embrace 'Leave No Trace' Principles and look after our outdoors.
The new public awareness campaign from Leave No Trace Ireland, Waterways Ireland and the other 8 partner agencies calls on the public to exercise renewed care and responsibility when outdoors in managing dogs, preventing litter, and ensuring that there are no fires unless on a designated site.
As we enter summer, Leave No Trace Ireland - Ireland's only outdoor ethics programme which promotes the responsible use of the outdoors – is encouraging everyone to 'Love This Place, Leave No Trace'.
The campaign is asking the public to play their part by acting responsibly so that everyone can experience and enjoy outdoor spaces while helping to protect them from increased pressures this year as Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Speaking on the launch of the 'Love This Place, Leave No Trace' campaign, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, said it is important that everyone who enjoys the great outdoors embraces the Leave No Trace ethos.
"As we all look forward to an outdoor summer, it's more important than ever to protect the places we love and leave no trace. We have a duty to our environment, to wildlife and to each other to be responsible stewards of the natural world – our national parks, woodlands, rivers, beaches, mountains and everywhere in between. As more of us seek the beauty, exhilaration and escapism of outdoor recreation, our collective impact on the environment also increases. By being responsible and leaving no trace, we can help the wild places and species we love to stay wild."
Leave No Trace Ireland Chief Executive, Maura Kiely said:
"Covid-19 has reawakened our appreciation of the outdoors with huge increases in the numbers of people using public parks and the open countryside for recreation, exercise and enjoyment. However, this is also putting pressure on open spaces which is threatening the quality and protection of the outdoors that are also important habitats for wildlife and a working environment for farmers. This campaign appeals to everyone to be considerate and take individual responsibility for our own impacts on the outdoors"
The public awareness campaign is being run by Leave No Trace Ireland in partnership with Waterways Ireland, Sport Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Services under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, the Department of Rural and Community Development, the Office of Public Works, Fáilte Ireland, Coillte, and Dublin City Council. The campaign will run on national and local radio and social media starting on June 28th and will continue throughout July.
Waterways Ireland Chief Executive, John Mc Donagh said "Our waterways are a rich haven for wildlife and biodiversity. Over the past year our waterways have been a lifeline for many as a place to exercise, unwind and boost happiness. However, the increase in visitor numbers has meant an increase in litter. Leave No Trace provides simple clear information on how to enjoy the outdoors safely and we are delighted to partner with them again this year to share and promote this knowledge so that we can all continue to care for and enjoy our waterways"
Information and guidelines for individuals, communities and organisations are available from https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/love-this-place-leave-no-trace. where you can also show your support and take the Love This Place, Leave No Trace Pledge.