Leave no Trace launches nationwide campaign as local authorities deal with Bank Holiday beach litter

Public urged to pick up litter, stick to designated pathways and act responsibly with dogs

Members of the public have been urged to treat outdoor spaces with care and protect fragile ecosystems as part of a new campaign launched by Leave No Trace Ireland, an organisation that campaigns for “outdoor ethics”.

As part of the Love This Place campaign, those enjoying outdoor amenities, particularly during the recent warm weather, have been asked to pick up litter, stick to relevant pathways to protect the land, act responsibly with dogs and to “embrace our island and cultural heritage.”

The awareness campaign has been launched after a busy bank holiday weekend for the country’s outdoor amenities, with reports of litter, public urination and fighting on a number of beaches in Co Dublin.

Maura Kiely, chair of Leave No Trace Ireland, said that the new campaign was aimed at raising awareness particularly among young people.


“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.”

Upon the launch of the campaign, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht and Sport Catherine Martin said there was “no excuse” for not cleaning up after ourselves. “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,” said Ms Martin.

“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.”

Roz Purcell, an ambassador for this year’s campaign, said she had become aware of the need to “leave no trace” while taking part in The Hike Life, a community of people who meet regularly to hike around Ireland.

“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,” she said.

The campaign will culminate in a day of environmental action on July 28th, which coincides with the first ever National Love This Place Day and World Nature Conservation Day.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist