Tag Archives: Leave No Trace Ireland

Heritage week 2020

Each year in Ireland Heritage Week is a national week of celebration for all things heritage. This year the event is being held from the 15th to the 23rd August. Usually there are lots of events, talks, walks and all sorts of activities organised. And I often try and host a wildflower walk each year. This year however, due to covid, things have had to go virtual and digital.

So together with my son and daughter, Leave No Trace Ireland and a friend we have created a “Leave what you find – gather only seed” video.

My son and daughter have to take full credit here. They did the recording and my son has done all the video editing.

The video is about our native Irish flora, and how we can collect wildflower seeds in our local areas and grow them so we can increase the number of wildflowers in our gardens and community spaces. The video looks at various wildflowers that would have grown in traditional hay meadows; species such as yellow rattle (also known as hay rattle), ox-eye daisy and red clover. Following the Leave No Trace principle “Leave What You Find”, we cannot go and dig up wildflowers, nor should we pick them, however, we can gather seed.

We demonstrate how to collect your own wildflower seeds; the best places to find wildflower seed to collect; and how to grow these seeds to produce plants that can be planted in your own garden or your community spaces to recreate wildflower areas.

It has been a great learning experience for us all and we hope others will be able to learn from the video.

Citizen Heros

Over the past few weeks I have been very lucky to have been working with some very dedicated people. These citizen don’t seek to stand out, instead they work tirelessly for their communities, their hard work often going unnoticed.

The people I am talking about are the community volunteer committees working to improve our towns and villages throughout County Mayo and Ireland. Many of these committees go under the title of Tidy Town Committees.  Tidy Towns was set up in 1958, and was initially used to encourage towns to improve their environs by planting flowers and trees. Today, Tidy Towns is much more than that, encompassing such themes as sustainability and biodiversity.


I have been working with groups in Westport, Mulranney, Belmullet, Castlebar and Balla delivering Leave No Trace Biodiversity Training Workshops. The pilot programme is being delivered in partnership with South West Mayo Development Group CGL (SWMDC). The workshops are raising awareness of local biodiversity, what can be done in communities to protect and enhance biodiversity, and how biodiversity is linked to the Leave No Trace ethos and use of our outdoor spaces.

For me the most inspiring element of delivering the workshops are the groups themselves and their enthusiasm for improving their local areas. These community volunteers are working for the greater good of their communities. They don’t just plant window boxes. They create community gardens, build and install bird, bat and bug boxes, plant orchards,  and encourage others to actively participate in the community.


These are the unsung heros of our communities.  No job is too small (they will stop to pick up litter where ever they walk), and no challenge too big. If you are a local business owner I urge you to get behind your local Tidy Town group. If you are just an interested citizen, Tidy Town committees arcoss the country are always looking for volunteers to help. Why not give it a go.