Leave No Trace Ireland

Personal Profile

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Leave No Trace Ireland provides research, education and outreach so every person who ventures outside can protect and enjoy the outdoors responsibly.

Leave No Trace is an Outdoor Ethics Education Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research and partnerships.


Contact name: Rachel Shawe


Contact email: Rachel@leavenotraceireland.org

Research Experience & Interest

What is your organisation's research experience?

Have you been involved in a research project before (national or European)?

What research topics have you worked with before?

What research topics or questions are you interested in?

What skills and capacities are you able to offer to a research projects and its partners?

Leave No Trace Ireland has a significant history with research and Innovation.
The Leave No Trace Principles are all based on established recreational ecology and environmental psychology theory, including the Theory of Planned Behaviour.
Leave No Trace has developed a dedicated education and research subgroup which offers guidance on the best way for leave no trace Ireland to achieve its research objectives.


In 2020, Leave No Trace Irelands first PhD was completed by Dr Noel Doyle. This study investigated behavioural change in the context of outdoor recreation in Ireland.
Leave No Trace Ireland is also conducting a second PhD in partnership with NUIG investigating stakeholder engagement in the context of environmental management.

Leave No Trace has conducted several Masters projects with institutions across Ireland. In addition, we have developed content for environmental projects at the undergraduate level.
Leave No Trace collaborated with Munster Technological University and the National Parks and Wildlife Service to develop a level 6 certificate in nature animation. This course is the first of its kind in Ireland and is designed to provide students with a foundation of knowledge on the roles and responsibilities of a national park ranger.
Leave No Trace have been a part of several Erasmus projects in the past. Namely, the IMPRINT+ project, NG Europe, and we are the coordinator for the Sustainability in Outdoor Education (SEE) Project.
IMPRINT+ is an international project that aims to highlight the amount of natural resources we use in our daily lives. Through education, action, and entrepreneurship, empowers young European citizens and communities to restore and conserve their local natural resources.
“NG Europe” is an international Erasmus project that empowers community leaders to act on social and environmental issues.  The programme empowers individuals and leaders of community organisations to create new opportunities in their local area that enable them to increase their impact in protecting their local environment.

The SEE Project will promote education in and through sport, focusing on skills development for outdoor sports professionals such as outdoor sports leaders, trainers, guides, or instructors. The SEE Project will also help promote increased voluntary activities in sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities, and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity, all in a frame of sustainable development and in line with the new Green Deal for Europe.

Leave No Trace are involved with several research topics:

  • Outdoor education

  • Benefits of outdoor recreation

  • Impacts of outdoor recreation

  • Stakeholder engagement

  • Behaviour change

  • Communication

  • Environmental education

  • Best practice for outdoor recreation and recreational ecology

  • Leadership in the outdoors

  • Skills development

  • NGO development

  • Entrepreneurship

  • Creative thinking

  • Social inclusivity

  • Sustainable practices

  • Natural and social capital

Leave No Trace would be highly interested in getting involved in European research initiatives such as Horizon Europe. The goals of Leave No Trace are suited to a number of the pillars listed on Horizon Europe, such as adaption to climate change, climate-neutral and smart cites, and healthy oceans, seas, coastal and inland waters.


Leave No Trace would be interested in researching topics relating to:

  • Behavioural change

  • Environmental education

  • Education

  • Environmental Conservation

  • Outdoor

  • Climate change

  • Sustainable urban planning

  • Voluntary sector

  • Outdoor sport

  • Sustainability

  • Community engagement

Leave No trace Ireland has a team of multi-disciplinary staff with a range of skills. These include:

  • Project management

  • Compliance with Corporate Governance for the community sector

  • Senior Research

  • Design and development of education

  • Administration

  • Presentation

  • Research

  • Teamwork

  • Networking

  • Academic Writing

  • Community Engagement

  • Workshop delivery

  • Teaching

  • Data analysis

  • Reporting

  • Communications

  • Public relations

We have several core members who share our research objectives, including:

  • Sport Ireland

  • Waterways Ireland

  • Failte Ireland

  • The National Parks and Wildlife Service

  • The Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

  • Office of Public Works

  • Inland Fisheries Ireland

Leave No Trace Ireland have developed close ties with community-based organisations such as tidy towns to reach over 900 groups
We have developed educational resources specifically designed to aid community groups in promoting responsible use of the outdoors. This includes biodiversity tool kits and event planning
Leave No Trace Ireland has a developed network of partnerships with National Governing Bodies in sports from across the country.
Working together has allowed Leave No Trace to become the national body for the promotion of responsible outdoor recreation in Ireland.

Leave No Trace Irelands work on Erasmus projects has enabled us to connect and collaborate with partners from across Europe, including:

  • Technical University Munich

  • Sport Northern Ireland

  • National Resource Centre for Expertise and Sport Performance

  • The National Institute for Physical Education in Catalonia

  • International Mountain Biking Association Europe

  • Mountaineering Association Tara

  • Surf Clube de Viana

  • Folkungaland

  • EUROPARC Federation

  • Cesefor

  • Play Solutions Audiovisuails

  • E.N.T.E.R., the European Network for Transfer and Exploitation of EU project Result

  • The Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB)

  • The Municipality of Lousada

  • Associação BioLiving

  • The University of Aveiro (UA)

  • Cipolla-Pantaleo-Gentile” High School

  • IES Pedro Jiménez Montoya

Leave No Trace Ireland is a subsidiary of The Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics in the United States of America.
We have an international network of support, with Leave No Trace represented in over 90 countries.

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