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Minimising Group Impact on Environment


Introduction The content of this presentation is derived from environmental research and existing programmes designed to minimise human impact on natural resources. It has been structured in a way that will hopefully bring it inline with methods currently used to teach outdoor leaders.


Introduction An international environmental guidance programme based on seven core principals: Plan Ahead and Prepare Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces Dispose of Waste Properly Leave What You Find Minimise Campfire Impacts Respect Wildlife Be considerate of Other Visitors


Introduction Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs Leave gates and property as you find them Protect plants and animals, take your litter home Keep dogs under close control Consider other people Respect – Protect – Enjoy


Introduction Travel and recreate with minimum impact Respect the environment and the rights of others Educate yourself, plan and prepare before you go Allow for future use of the outdoors, leave it better Discover the rewards of responsible recreation TREAD lightly:


Introduction Prepare Adapt Communicate As a group leader; to help safeguard the natural environment, remember to PAC:


Prepare Planning tools Sensitive times Extra Equipment Waste Management - pre-visit Preparing yourself before taking a group out can dramatically reduce your group’s impact on the the location you’re visiting

Planning Tools : 

Planning Tools Area around Llyn Du in the Rhinogau

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools National Biodiversity Network Gateway - Countryside Access Map - Protected Areas Map - Regional Access Database -

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools National Biodiversity Network Gateway

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools National Biodiversity Network Gateway

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools The countryside is formed out of many different habitats, if you keep an eye out, you can navigate your way around sensitive area without altering your intended course too much Ask a local land manager or use habitat maps and satellite images to identify the habitats through which you’ll be passing before you leave.

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools Countryside Access Map

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools Countryside Access Map

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools Countryside Access Map

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools Protected Areas Map

Planning Tools: 

Planning Tools Protected Areas Map

Planning Tools : 

Planning Tools The British Mountaineering Council’s Regional Access Database A useful tool for finding out about access restrictions on climbing crags throughout Britain.

Sensitive Times: 

Sensitive Times Your group’s impact can change seasonally, consider the time of year and the potential problems may arise

Extra Equipment : 

Extra Equipment Trowel / lighter / biodegradable paper Faeces bag / wide rimmed plastic container Tea strainer Plastic Containers and Resalable bags Fire blanket (mound fires) These are some bits of extra kit that can be used to help minimise a group’s impact on the environment.

Waste Management – Pre-visit: 

Waste Management – Pre-visit Prepare and repackage food before leaving – reusable containers and resalable bags can save on waste Recycle packaging, where possible “Go before you go” - encourage your group to visit the bathroom before embarking on a trip Consider your trips carbon footprint, lift sharing and carbon offsetting can help reduce impact.


Adapt Fire impact Wildlife Invasive species Group size and experience Travelling with a group Camping with a group Cooking with a group Human waste management – onsite All leaders are use to adapting their plans and actions when out with a group. It may be due to the weather, the group’s skill or an emergency. The same adaptation is important when considering the environment.

Fire Impact : 

Fire Impact

Fire Impact - Types of Fire: 

Fire Impact - Types of Fire

Fire Impact - Mound Fires: 

Fire Impact - Mound Fires Use foil or a fire resistant blanket to form the base of the fire Cover the blanket with a layer of sand or low biomass soil Build a small fire on top of the earth. You can also surround this with stones to contain ash and hot embers. Mound fires are a useful way of making “traditional” camp fires whilst minimising the fire’s impact on the site you are using


Wildlife Be observant, if birds and other wildlife appear nervous, you are generally too close. If a bird “hangs“in the air above its nest, you are generally too close. Wildlife can be particularly sensitive when with young or in the winter months Choose your path through open country sensitively, be prepared to adapt your route (when possible) If in doubt; follow the rule of thumb

Invasive Species : 

Invasive Species There are many species classed as invasive in this country. It would be very difficultly to avoid coming into contact with them all. A simple precaution is to shake or wash your equipment down after being in an area known to contain invasive species You can find out more about invasive species in Britain at* *This is a private site and the information may not be verified

Group Size and Experience: 

Group Size and Experience This is a basic illustration of some of the considerations a leader may make when assessing the size and experience of their group Some sensitive sites may include; gorges, scree-slopes, Blanket bogs and dune systems

Travelling with a Group: 

Travelling with a Group Where possible, try and remain on durable surfaces – rock, hard ground, sand etc When it is necessary to cross sensitive habitats such as bogs and marshland, try to spread the group out to minimise impact If travelling through heavily eroded areas, try to stick within the erosion mark rather than skirting around the edge

Camping with a group : 

Camping with a group Pitch tents on durable surfaces where possible Consider routes from the campsite to the nearest water source; try and insure that the route crosses durable surfaces If the campsite is on soft or boggy ground pitch the tents further away from each other, this will minimise the concentrated trampling between tents

Cooking with a group : 

Cooking with a group Try and deposited cooking water a good distance away from any watercourse Strain the food scraps out of the water (tea strainer) and carry it out with you (or bury it if need be) Clean the cooking utensils away from running water and with an non-biological cleaner.

Human Waste Management – onsite: 

Human Waste Management – onsite General advice states 30m away from water However, if the ground is sloping away from the water, it is safe to be a little closer Terrain and soil type can also have an effect on decomposition and leaching

Human Waste Management – onsite: 

Human Waste Management – onsite


Communicate Leading by Example Planning, Doing and Reviewing Using the Environment Developing your own Skills Outdoor leaders are in the perfect position to positively influence peoples experiences with nature. Communication is one of the most crucial parts of safeguarding the future of our environment. Some of the ways that you can pass on good practice to the people you take out include:

Leading by Example: 

Leading by Example You don’t have to go this far to make a statement to your group; lead by example, manage yourself and your waste efficiently

Planning, Doing and Reviewing: 

Planning, Doing and Reviewing The plan, do and review process, used widely in outdoor education, can work extremely well when developing a groups relationship with the natural environment By asking the group to evaluate their effects on the environment, you can open a line of thought that they may use to plan their next trip. (or it could at least start a healthy debate!)

Using the Environment : 

Using the Environment “Peak Experience” (Abraham Maslow) describes the theory that people are more open to learning when they are driven, challenged or inspired. Make the most of the place you are in; any moment could form the start of a life changing experience Let the landscape do the teaching; if you see an example of damage and human impact, point it out. It could be a unique learning experience.

Developing your own Skills: 

Developing your own Skills As with all other aspects of leadership; the skills that you develop in your own life can be passed on to those you are teaching The things that you are most interested in and confident about are the things you will teach the best Don’t think of environmental good practice as something you are being forced to do. Think of it something that you do as part of your day-to-day routine, when you can


Conclusion Generally, the overall benefit to the world of people taking groups out into the natural environment can outweigh the damage that they may cause whilst there. As leaders, if we act thoughtfully and skilfully, we can help preserve what we have for the future and pass on our knowledge to those around us.

Diolch – Thank you: 

Diolch – Thank you

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