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Friends of the Reeks

Leave no Trace is an outdoor ethics programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships. We ask that you adhere to the following principles while visiting the Reeks:

Plan Ahead and Prepare

  • Before you go check, where possible, if access is allowed and your activity is permitted in the area you wish to visit.
  • Respect any signs, regulations, policies and special concerns for the area that you wish to visit. Permits may sometimes be needed for activities on public lands.
  • Where possible travel by public transport or share cars; consider the availability of parking.
  • Ensure you have the skills and equipment needed for your activity and to cope with emergencies that could arise.
  • Check the weather forecast and always be prepared for changing weather conditions.
  • For environmental and safety reasons, and to minimise your impact on other users, keep group numbers small; split larger parties into smaller groups.

Be Considerate of Others

  • Respect the people who live and work in the countryside.
  • Park appropriately - avoid blocking gateways, forest entrances or narrow roads. Remember that farm machinery, local residents and the emergency services may need access at all times.
  • Take care not to damage property, especially walls, fences and crops.
  • Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
  • Let nature's sounds prevail. Keep noise to a minimum.

Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife

  • Dogs should be kept under close control and should only be brought onto hills or farmland with the landowner's permission. Some public areas stipulate that dogs must be kept on a lead at all times, please adhere to local guidelines.
  • Observe wild animals and birds from a distance. Avoid disturbing them, particularly at sensitive times: mating, nesting and raising young (mostly between spring and early summer).
  • Keep wildlife wild, don't feed wild animals or birds - our foods damage their health and leave them vulnerable to predators.
  • Farm animals are not pets; remain at a safe distance.

Leave What You Find

  • Respect property. For example, farming or forestry machinery, fences, stone walls etc. Leave gates as you find them (open or closed).
  • Preserve the past: examine - without damaging - archaeological structures, old walls and heritage artefacts e.g. holy wells, mine workings, monuments.
  • Conserve the present: leave rocks, flowers, plants, animals and all natural habitats as you find them.
  • Fallen trees are a valuable wildlife habitat; do not remove or use for firewood.
  • Avoid introducing non-native plants and animals e.g. zebra mussels in rivers and lakes.
  • Do not build rock cairns, structures or shelters.

Dispose of Waste Properly

  • "If You Bring It In, Take It Out" - take home all litter and leftover food (including tea bags, fruit peels and other biodegradable foods).
  • To dispose of solid human waste, dig a hole 15-20cms deep and at least 30m from water, campsites and tracks. Cover and disguise the hole when finished.
  • Bring home toilet paper and hygiene products.
  • Wash yourself or your dishes 30m away from streams or lakes and if necessary use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Bring home any solids and scatter strained dishwater.
  • For more information on sanitation in the outdoors read the "Where to go in the outdoors" leaflet.

For more information visit www.leavenotraceireland.org

 

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