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Reconnect with Mother Nature this World Environment Day

4 min read

By Dawn Rainbolt, Marketing Executive
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World Environment Day falls in the wake of the unfortunate news that the USA is pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement, with the EU, China and other nations are discussing a joint rebuttal.

Politics aside, it’s important to acknowledge the environment and the role it plays in our daily lives – not to mention how we can be a positive influence on Mother Nature.

World Environment Day

World Environment Day - Wilderness Ireland - Hazelwood Co. SligoThe biggest annual event dedicated to positive environmental action, World Environment Day has existed since 1972, taking place every year on June 5th, and hosted by a different country. 2017’s host, Canada, chose the theme: reconnecting people to nature. (The social media hashtag for the day is #WithNature.) The day’s goal is to motivate people worldwide to reflect on how we are all part of nature and how much we depend on the natural environment every day. World Environment Day will collectively challenge citizens around the globe to find fun and exciting ways to acknowledge and experience our daily relationship with Mother Nature.

Reconnecting with nature is easy in Ireland – there’s never a forest, lake, mountain or beach far from anywhere! Visit Hazelwood, Co. Sligo for a walk amongst the leafy greens.

Wilderness Ireland’s Approach

Forget the Ring of Kerry – instead, hike in the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks Mountains of magical Kerry.

Wilderness Ireland’s philosophy is to bring people into the wild – using your own two feet as much as possible! Our trips prioritise outdoor activities such as hikingbiking and active family tours. Vehicle transfer times are limited as much as possible – both to better your experience as well as limit our footprint on the local environment.

While travelling with Wilderness Ireland, you’ll learn about the environment – both in a global and local sense. While our trips are predominately about enjoying Ireland, there is an educational aspect to them as well. 

You’ll learn about local flora and fauna in Ireland while hiking through centuries-old hardwoods and young, new forests. You’ll climb mountains, kayak amongst seals and cycle through ancient bogs – many of which, due to recent efforts, are now protected from peat cutting. You’ll learn about the adverse effects of climate change or other environmental stressors – such as what the lack of predators or the introduction of non-native species does to a fragile eco-system, or how climate changes in other parts of the globe can affect Ireland in unexpected ways.

Appreciate the environment by exploring the Great Outdoors. Meet seals and seabirds on our Hiking & Island Hopping on Ireland’s West Coast, and puffins on Rathlin Island on our hiking the Causeway Coast. If you’re lucky you might also see whales, dolphins and basking sharks off Ireland’s west coast, or red deer in Killarney or Wicklow.  Hike to ancient Celtic and Christian ruins in Connemara & Mayo to appreciate how man and nature co-existed in ancient times. Bike through the wilds of Donegal to appreciate how people have found ways to thrive in some of Ireland’s most remote landscapes.

The culture of the ancient Celtic people contained great respect for the natural environment – in fact, their religious beliefs centred around worshipping gods dedicated to nature. Some of their monuments dedicated to nature are still visible in Ireland today. Though Celtic paganism is long gone, the connection to nature is still strong in Ireland. Rain or shine, the Irish love being outdoors. The coupling of man and nature is rooted in the island’s way of life – something visitors to Ireland will be a part of while travelling in Ireland.

A recent move in Ireland in respect to Irish culinary revival has been to focus on locally-sourced products – with a specific focus on organic products, grass-fed animals, free-range chickens, etc. – as well as the farm-to-fork movement. Not only does this help local agricultural producers, but it also diminishes the distance between yourself and your plate. Visit local producers – such as a sheep farm to learn how farmers and sheepdogs work hand-in-hand, or a seaweed forager to learn how to find, prepare and cook this under-appreciated superfood.  The southwest counties are particularly good at this – visit West Cork and Kerry to get a taste of gourmet Irish cuisine. 

World Environment Day - Wilderness Ireland - Dingle

Enjoying the view over the waves on the Dingle Peninsula. Being an island, you’re never too far from the Irish coast!

 

How To Appreciate World Environment Day

Sheep's Head Peninsula Cork Hiking

On this World Environment Day, take a moment to appreciate nature’s role in your life, and how you can better appreciate it. Find new ways to connect with nature, and new ways to cut back on activities that are not environmentally-friendly, big and small. When travelling, make it a point to choose itineraries that bring you into the wild where you can appreciate and connect with the beautiful landscapes that make up our planet, and share the importance and fragility of those places with friends and family back home.

If you do choose to travel with us to Ireland, get excited about reconnecting with the natural world in Ireland – anywhere from the remote Northwest to the wilds of Connemara to the beloved southwest Cork and Kerry. See man and nature pairing in action in places like the Great Western Greenway, a disused railway track turned into the longest off-road cycling and hiking path in Ireland – bike it with your whole family on our new for 2018 family itinerary, Paddling & Pirates. On Wilderness Ireland trips, you’ll have ample opportunities to visit Ireland’s natural wonders of all shapes and sizes, such as the unknown Gougana Barra regional park, the remote islands and sea stacks clinging to the west coast, the rugged Beara Peninsula, the other-worldly Burren National Park, and the windswept coastal paths of Sligo and Donegal.

Happy World Environment Day!

Check out a few travel ideas on how to appreciate World Environment Day:

Meet the Author: Dawn Rainbolt

“American by birth but European in spirit, Dawn has called the US, Costa Rica, Spain, England, Poland, France and now Ireland home over the years. While she has travelled to more than 30 countries, she has fallen in love with the rich Irish culture and sweeping landscapes of Ireland. Armed with a Masters Degree in Tourism Marketing and a love of writing and photography, she is Wilderness Ireland's Marketing Executive since 2017.”

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