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Leave No Trace – New LEADER Funded iBook & Training Courses

With the outdoors becoming increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic and nationwide lockdowns, there has never been a better time to learn how best to protect, preserve and enhance Donegal’s local environment. Leave No Trace as part of the training have devised an online iBook that guides the reader through the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Donegal Local Development CLG (DLDC) as Implementing Partner to the Donegal LCDC was delighted to support Leave No Trace with the production of the new iBook. 

DLDC starting working with Leave No Trace Ireland in 2017, with the goal of delivering an innovative pilot training programme for community groups and individuals throughout Donegal based on the 7 principles of Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace Ireland is an environmental non-profit organisation that is based around an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. 

The techniques designed to minimise the environmental and social impacts on natural environments are incorporated in and promoted by the national Leave No Trace education programme under the following seven principles which are outlined in the iBook:

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare

 2. Be Considerate of Others

 3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife

 4. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces

 5. Leave What You Find

 6. Dispose of Waste Properly 

7. Minimise the Effects of Fire

A copy of the iBook can be found on the NEWS section of the DLDC Website www.dldc.org

Leave No Trace Ireland was awarded a contract for €81,845.00 in July 2018 at 100% grant rate for the delivery of an innovative pilot programme to be delivered by Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland (ORNI) under the LEADER Theme Rural Environment; Sub Theme: Protection and Improvement of Local Biodiversity. Initially, the programme was delivered through a series of workshops taking place at venues across Donegal.

Courses including Mixed Activities, Walking & Hill Walking and Watersports were delivered before the COVID pandemic. However, due to the pandemic, the course was then moved online and restructured. A week before each course delivery, a distant learning set of videos designed to pre-load information was distributed to the participants. These videos included: An introduction to Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Education Programme, The Principles of Leave No Trace and a closing content and direction of the next steps.

This was the first time free online course were provided in this way. The interactive courses were delivered online via Zoom by Advanced Leave No Trace Trainers. Four Webinars were run throughout February 2021. The webinars combined general presentation and discussion with break out rooms for scenario discussions based on the 7 Principles. The sessions then concluded with breakout room feedback given to the wider group for summary discussion.

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