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In Northern Ireland we are blessed with lots of beautiful scenery and walking routes. Walk NI is a website which produces guides to help you find new routes to hike, run or walk. You can assess the guide here. It is called “The Causeway Coast and Glens: A Walkers Guide”.
The guide is really useful as it plots out hiking treks including the Causeway Coast Way, the Causeway Coast Highlights and the Antrim Hills Way. It also gives details of specific walking groups, accommodation, and places to stop for food.
Walking is a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Northern Ireland has to offer. The Walk Ni booklet gives important inforamtion about the ‘Leave No Trace’ initiative which is important to know for when you are out and about.
Leave No Trace is an Outdoor Ethics Programme designed to promote and inspire responsible outdoor recreation through education, research, and partnerships. As increasing numbers of people seek the beauty and exhilaration of outdoor recreation, our collective mark on the environment and its natural processes, increases. Litter, disturbance to vegetation, water pollution, wildlife, livestock and other people are all indicators of the need to develop a national ethic that protects both natural and cultural heritage.
Techniques designed to minimise the social and environmental impacts to these areas are incorporated
into the Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Education Programme as seven principles.
The Seven Principles of Leave No Trace
1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Be Considerate of Others
3. Respect Farm Animals and Wildlife
4. Travel and Camp on Durable Ground
5. Leave What You Find
6. Dispose of Waste Properly
7. Minimise the Effects of Fire
Practising a Leave No Trace ethic is very simple: Make it hard for others to see or hear you and LEAVE NO TRACE of your visit. For more information on Leave No Trace, please visit www.leavenotraceireland.org.
If you are planning to go walking you will also require the correct gear. The most important pieces to get are good walking boots, a waterproof coat and remember to always take a drink with you. If you are looking for outdoor clothing then pop in to Outdoor Adventure on Church Street in Ballymena. We recently blogged about some of their latest outdoor gear – to read more about Outdoor Adventure please click here.
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