Leave No Trace Ethics Programme
Leave no trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education research and partnerships. As increasing numbers of people seek outdoor relaxation and enjoyment it is important that the environment is taken care of for all to use. Our parks offer a lifeline space to support our physical and mental health by providing a safe place, where people enjoy fresh air , where they can exercise and practice mindfulness , while still adhering to physical protocols invoked at this time. Unfortunately, as increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation our collective mark on the environment increases also. Therefore, a national ethic has been designed to protect our national and cultural heritage from pollution such as litter in the parks, disturbance of vegetation that wildlife depend on or water pollution from boats and cans. So, we encourage all who use this environment to protect our heritage especially those who are on tours in these areas. We must treat our natural heritage and especially the monuments visited with the respect they deserve and follow the principles of leave no trace so we can reduce the damage to our environment and set proper standards going into the future , and keep it in a pristine condition. Seven Principles have been drawn up to assist with the preservation of the environment:
1 Plan ahead, i.e. by bringing collection bags for the trip if there is disposable material.
2 Be considerate of others and places . i.e. closing gates on country areas after entering.
3 Show respect for wildlife by not disturbing their habitat or damaging it by picking them.
4 Travel and camp on good durable surfaces and not marshy areas , so there is no footprint .
5 Leave areas as you find them, and do not take souvenirs from cultural sites or monuments.
6 Dispose of waste materials in their proper places by dividing these recycled and waste products.
7 Minimise the effects of fire by disposing of barbecues properly as they may cause woodland or forest fires, and especially during dry spells as this causes a major impact on the environment.
The disturbance of wildlife is seen in the disturbed and altered behaviour of birds and as their numbers have reduced substantially in Ireland , we need to preserve our wild flowers and fauna for migrating birds and the many different species that depend on it to stabilise their numbers.
The loss of vegetation for bees has become important as the numbers of bees have reduced also and as their place as pollinators for growth is so vital all tours need to reduce their impact on flowers.
Water pollution is often seen in the city, when cans are thrown into the area near the Spanish Arch
Crowds can have a social impact on cultural areas as there may be conflicts between groups, or glass broken when large groups converge for big festivals like the Galway Races ; so we need to be aware of the big cost of maintaining the city to high standards which is estimated as one million .
It is important to be aware that many groups go to the same famous places mentioned in the Guide Books, so these areas are of cultural importance , and need to be kept in good condition for the next group following. It’s vitally important for all groups to be told of the seven principles and that we have new ethical standards now, and all who visit should contribute to upholding these principles. AS Tour Guides, we are the leaders in protecting our cultural heritage and environment.
For further information access the website : https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/