Leave No Trace Ireland (LNT) – Ireland’s only outdoor ethics programme, which promotes the responsible use of the outdoors – has launched its fourth National Awareness Campaign urging the public to enjoy our outdoor spaces (including parks, open countryside, and beaches) with care and respect to protect wildlife and fragile natural ecosystems.
This year, the #LoveThisPlace Campaign will feature Roz Purcell as Campaign Ambassador, Roz Purcell is a presenter, broadcaster, content creator and founder of The Hike Life.
Members of the public will be urged to make a Promise to #LoveThisPlace, confirming their love of the outdoors with simple, positive actions to protect and respect outdoor spaces. This year’s campaign will culminate in a day of environmental action on National ‘Love This Place’ Day on Friday, July 28th, which coincides with World Nature Conservation Day.
Speaking at today’s launch of the Love This Place Campaign, Campaign Ambassador, Roz Purcell, said:
“This year I’m delighted to team up with Leave No Trace Ireland on their summer campaign. I’m outside quite a lot as part of my hiking community The Hike Life so I know why it’s so important to look after the outdoors. Everyone is responsible for taking care while they’re enjoying nature. I hope you’ll all join me in making a Promise to Love This Place and Leave No Trace on Friday July 28th”.
The campaign will run through June, July, and August and will focus on promoting five key collective goals and simple actions for people to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. These are:
- Keep Ireland Litter Free
- Protect Our Wildlife
- Stick to the path to protect our land and coast.
- Be responsible with our dogs.
- Embrace our island and cultural heritage.
The Love This Place 2023 campaign is a joint initiative with Leave No Trace Ireland’s core partners including Fáilte Ireland, Sport Ireland, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dublin City Council, the Office of Public Works, Coillte, and Waterways Ireland.
The campaign is also supported for the first time this year by Clare County Council, Fingal County Council, Galway County Council, Kilkenny County Council, Mayo County Council, Wicklow County Council and Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD said:
“The beauty of the Irish landscape is a unique part of our tourism offering and there are many fantastic amenities and activities around the country to encourage domestic and international visitors to explore the great outdoors. We must continue to respect the environment and leave outdoor spaces as we find them. The mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors and getting exercise are widely known so whether we are walking in national parks, kayaking on rivers, or enjoying our beautiful beaches there is no excuse for not cleaning up after ourselves. We pride ourselves on the beauty of our country and it is important that everyone who enjoys our fabulous outdoor amenities embrace the Leave No Trace ethos by minimising our impact and protecting our wildlife, habitats and heritage.”
Welcoming the Leave No Trace Campaign, Minister Malcolm Noonan T.D, Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform said:
“It is more important than ever to protect and care for our environment, and to highlight our responsibilities as stewards of our outdoor spaces and nature. In our enjoyment of our natural world, we should all carry with us the Leave No Trace ethos, be considerate, responsible and take charge in protecting those places and species we love.”
Commenting, Leave No Trace Ireland Chief Executive, Maura Kiely, said:
“Research in 2022 conducted for Leave No Trace Ireland by Behaviour and Attitudes Ireland (Ireland’s largest independent research & insight consultancy) clearly showed that while there is a strong appreciation of the importance of the outdoors many people (especially young people), are unsure of what appropriate behaviour is or how to change behaviour to benefit nature.”
“The lowest awareness of the impact of irresponsible behaviour was shown to be among those below 35 years of age and the 2023 Love This Place Campaign is focused on this demographic to increase education around the simple actions people can take to protect and enhance our experience of the outdoors countryside, and recreational spaces.
“We are delighted to have Roz Purcell adding her voice and experience to our 2023 campaign and making a direct appeal to everyone who uses and love the outdoors to play their part to protect our natural environment by taking simple actions that ensure that we leave the outdoors as we find it for the next person to enjoy.”
“I am also asking everyone to join us and Roz at the end of the campaign to mark National Love This Place Day on July 28th and participate in the Love This Place ‘Promise’ initiative to commit to positive actions to respect and protect our beautiful outdoor spaces and recreational areas.”
“We also thank our core partners for their continued support for our work including the Love This Place Awareness Campaign which is now in its fourth year. This year we are also delighted to welcome the support from several County Councils around the country from this year’s campaign.”
Lord Mayor of Dublin, Caroline Conroy also welcomed the launch of the Leave No Trace Campaign adding:
“This year’s ‘Love This Place’ campaign from Leave No Trace Ireland echoes the priorities I have identified in my role as Lord Mayor of Dublin. These are preventing litter, promoting responsible dog ownership, and rebuilding biodiversity across our city. Citizen engagement is particularly crucial in changing behaviours and ultimately improving Dublin’s environment and the care and protection of our open spaces. The Leave No Trace campaign sets out straightforward actions that we all can take in our everyday lives. These will bring about significant improvements in our environment and to our enjoyment of our city and its wonderful outdoor spaces.”
Further information and guidance for individuals, communities and organisations is available from https://www.leavenotraceireland.org/love-this-place-leave-no-trace