In a European first, Gas Networks Ireland has marked the launch of its 2020 sustainability report by partnering with environmental group, Leave No Trace Ireland, to help restore Glengarra Wood in Co. Tipperary as part of the international “Hot Spot” programme.
As part of its commitment to supporting environmental, social and economic sustainability, the national gas network operator is working with Coillte and the Burncourt Community Group to help the former demesne woodland recover the natural qualities lost through the impact by littering and trail erosion. The Leave No Trace Hot Spot programme is a critical initiative designed to address areas impacted by outdoor activities and heavy use so they can be restored and thrive again.
Glengarra Wood will receive a unique, site-specific blend of training, expert consulting, education programmes, service projects, monitoring programmes and more, resulting in a sustainable outdoor area that is on the road to recovery.
Importantly, the programme also teaches people how to make responsible decisions when participating in outdoor activities, to promote a sense of stewardship for the natural world and an understanding of how to reduce your carbon footprint.
Gas Networks Ireland volunteers will remove invasive species, plant native trees, clear access for recreation and remove litter and waste. The team will also hold a Hot Spot “BioBlitz”, recording all species sightings and collating them into one database to compliment the development of the biodiversity action plan.
The work, which will be funded by Gas Networks Ireland, will help form the basis for a bio-diversity plan for the future of the wood.Gas Network Ireland’s Corporate Responsibility Manager, Christina van der Kamp, said: “At Gas Networks Ireland we have a long history of supporting educational programmes in communities across Ireland. Supporting biodiversity is a key part of our sustainability strategy and Leave No Trace Ireland shares this common goal with us.Our unique partnership on the Hot Spot programme, a first for Ireland, demonstrates our commitment to promoting the importance of biodiversity, not only amongst our stakeholders but with our colleagues and the communities where we work. We’re working to support a cleaner, more sustainable future for Ireland.”
Leave No Trace Ireland Advanced Trainer and Project Officer, Mark O’Connor, said: “The Hot Spot programme is a great opportunity to enhance Glengarra Woods by working with the local community to limit the impacts of outdoor recreation and enhance understanding of its environmental value. We are looking forward to working with Gas Networks Ireland to carry out this crucial restoration work whilst launching our very first Hot Spot programme.”