Westport House Partners with Leave No Trace Ireland to Promote Responsible Outdoor Recreation
This March, Show Your Love for Westport House by Being a Responsible Dog Owner
Since the outset of the pandemic, the historic 400-acre Westport House Estate has seen unprecedented levels of domestic and local visitors as people were invited to reconnect with nature and enjoy the physical and mental benefits of exercising in this landscape. As increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation, the collective mark on the estate also increases through litter, dog fouling, water pollution, disturbance of vegetation, wildlife, livestock and other people.
Westport House is delighted to announce a partnership with Westport-based Leave No Trace Ireland, an educational charity dedicated to promoting responsible use of the outdoors through education, partnerships and research. Together, they aim to develop an ethic that protects the historic estate’s natural and cultural heritage. They are calling on all visitors to show their love of Westport House by helping to take care of the estate, protect and preserve it for all to enjoy and follow the Leave No Trace principles.
The 7 Principles are:
In March, due to longer evenings, finer weather as well as lambing season, the responsible walking of dogs on the estate becomes an important priority. As a working farm as well as a recreation space, dog walkers are asked to come prepared with dog waste bags to pick up after their dog, always keep their dog on a lead to respect farm animals and other walkers as well as be considerate of wildlife.
Maura Kiely, CEO of Leave No Trace Ireland, calls on the community to work together to respect the environment of one of Westport’s greatest assets, Westport House and Estate, saying, “We all love to exercise and be active in our scenic outdoor spaces – with our furry friends – so let’s ensure that Westport House remains accessible to all by Leaving No Trace. Dog owners must be mindful that with ownership comes responsibility. Owning a dog means that you have to feed, house and care for your pet. You must also remember that you have to keep them under control at all times and clean up after them.”
Chief Executive at Hotel Westport and Westport House, Barry O’Connor, welcomes this partnership and outlined that “We love to see our friends and neighbours enjoying spending time on the estate with their pets. And at a time like this – when community really matters – the Hughes family are delighted to open up the estate to bring some joy and beauty into people’s lives. We simply ask dog walkers to remember that this is their front garden, after all, and to show their love of Westport Estate by helping the Hughes family to take care of it. The principles of Leave No Trace Ireland are the ideal guidelines to help us to promote the responsible use of this beautiful estate.”
How you can help?
Dog walkers can show their love of Westport House by reading up on and following its Responsible Dog Walking policy.
Through the Leave No Trace programme those who use the countryside for recreation can gain an understanding of the impact of their activities and learn techniques to prevent or reduce any negative impacts. Further information can be accessed at www.leavenotraceireland.org.