6 things people love about a Leave No Trace Awareness Course

better tourism sustainable tourism Dec 08, 2022
6 things people love about a Leave No Trace Awareness Course

We have delivered several Leave No Trace Awareness Courses as part of our Sustainability Training Programmes. The Principles of Leave No Trace are being highlighted more and more in tourism as they explore the different ways we and our visitors can have an impact when in the outdoors. They are a guide into how we all can behave more responsibly in the outdoors. The Leave No Trace Awareness Course offers an opportunity for participants to explore these Principles and gain an in-depth understanding of them. It allows a space for conversations to be had about the direct and indirect impacts our actions can have on the environment and our natural heritage, and to think of ways we can minimise them. 

Below is a list inspired by the feedback we have received on our Leave No Trace Awareness Training Courses. Between the courses we have taken part in as trainees and now the courses we have delivered, feedback has always been positive and participants have taken a lot out from the day. Here are some aspects of the course they have particularly enjoyed.

 

1. Being outdoors

What separates a Leave No Trace Awareness Courses from other types of training is that it brings participants into the outdoors, away from computer screens and any such devices, and engages them with the outdoor world around them. Even those who are not outdoor lovers have enjoyed themselves on the course. Participants are provided with any information, checklists and list of items needed prior to the course so they are prepared and comfortable upon arrival making their experience in the outdoors as enjoyable as possible.

 

2. Learning about the Principles of Leave No Trace

Although the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace are directed to outdoor users, this does not necessarily mean that it specifically and solely targets outdoor activity providers. It is an ethos that can be adapted to any form of business. Highlighting the Principles alone is a substantial action that any business or destination can take as it raises awareness of responsible outdoor ethics. You will form part of this ripple effect which grows as the Leave No Trace message is spread more and more. 

On the Awareness Course, participants have enjoyed exploring these principles. It encourages people to critically think about how and why our actions have such an impact and to contemplate on what decisions can be taken to alter this impact. A recent article I wrote explores the most prominent learnings from an Awareness Course.

 

3. Being part of a group

On a Leave No Trace Awareness Course, you are guaranteed a diverse mix of people from various backgrounds and places. The group is maxed at 12 people to minimise our impact. Participants have valued meeting and connecting with like minded individuals on the Awareness Course. Forming part of a group and spending time together for a full day allows for participants to learn from one another, get to know their stories and understand any challenges they may be experiencing related to environmental and outdoor issues. 

 

 

4. The activities

As a trainer, one of the aims of exploring the 7 Principles is to do so in an interactive way through discussion and activities. Participants have enjoyed the varied range of activities as it gets them moving - something very important in cooler outdoor temperatures - it breaks down barriers and it eases participants making them feel comfortable to ask questions and deepen the conversations further.

 

 

5. The discussion

The value of having a full day course is that it poses the opportunity for interesting conversations to happen. Participants bring their life experiences and backgrounds to the topic of each conversation. It is always stimulating to hear different perspectives and understandings and participants tend to engage and contribute considerably in a healthy debate.

 

 

6. The certificate

Upon completion of an Awareness Course, participants receive a certificate which can be displayed on their premises. Participants have immensely valued this as it is a tangible document which accredits their achievement and commitment to the day. It gives them a sense of pride in their work and accomplishment.

 

 

Aoibheann Boyle

Aoibheann is an accredited Leave No Trace trainer and delivers Awareness Courses as part of destination development training programmes and sustainability training programme. You can learn more about previous programmes here. Get in touch if you would like to organise a programme for your destination at [email protected]. Read more about the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace here.

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