Lough Dan Eco-Park Lough Dan is the world’s first Scout Eco-Park where sustainable management and environmental education go hand in hand with traditional scout activities. Scouting has always been great at introducing kids to nature and the Great Outdoors. And contact with nature is the key component in creating environmental awareness. Lough Dan is a place where Nature & Nurture meet.
Besides our wonderful natural amenity with a mosaic of over 15 different habitat types, we have a small eco-base in the form of a replica of Charles Darwin’s cabin on board HMS Beagle where kids get an opportunity to do a variety of environmental education and awareness activities such as bird watching, bug hunts, pond dipping etc
Research has shown that contact with nature is a key component in creating environmental awareness so “Pitch & Get Out” into all that the National Park has to offer is our philosophy when it comes to camping. Keep it simple, minimal impact camping and reconnect with nature.
Sustainable Communities Network. Lough Dan has set up a sustainable communities network. Its a partnership between the other National Scout Centers and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland.(SEAI). Because the national campsites are similar in nature some of the problems & solutions to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels will be the same. As part of the network we share information and knowledge and get technical assistance from the SEAI.
SCENES Scout Centers of Excellence for Nature and the Environment. We have been accredited as a SCENES center by the World Organisation of the Scout Movement. Reconnecting kids with nature is a major part of our program focus. Located in the hearth of the Wicklow Mountains National Park, Lough Dan is the ideal “Base Camp” and “Gateway” to all that the area has to offer. We encourage everything from traditional scout camping and hiking and all sorts of environmental awareness activities Lough Dan a place where Nature and Nurture meet
Leave No Trace and Leaving a Place Better Than You Find It is our Waste policy. We have set up a waste segregation unit in the car park where you will find a variety of wheelie bins to make your waste management easier and for your scouts to Do The Right Thing.. Scouting is an educational movement and this applies to your waste management as much as to the outdoor education part of your program.
Lough Dan is a Scout Climate Action Centre.. We are showcasing 100 practical projects & “eco” ideas that scouts can do to to mitigate against climate change and global warming and the effects it has on habitats & wildlife. Everything from making bird and bat boxes, proper waste disposal, wildflower meadows for pollinator bees and butterflies, making insect hotels and hedgehog hibernation boxes, collecting rain water collection butts, making edible hedgerows and everything in between all the way up to and including planting future forests. Many of these ideas could be replicated by scouts to turn your den into a Green scout Den. Just ask one of our outdoor educators to show you what scouts can do.
Lough Dan is a participant in the All Ireland Pollinator Action Plan. Run by biodiversity Ireland it encourages house holds, schools, farms and business to manage for the benefit of wildlife and in particular for pollinators. We have a 10 acre wild flower summer hay meadow, limit the use of herbicides, manage and enhance hedgerows, have small herb gardens and planters to benefit pollinators.