Dark Sky Reserve, The Pure Mile Project & The Tree Museum

Lough Dan Scout Center is managed as an Eco-Park where sustainable management, & environmental education go hand in hand with traditional scout activities. We encourage everyone to reconnect with nature and part of our Eco-strategy is to manage the site as a DARK SKY RESERVE. We want today’s young people to be able to see the night sky just like their forebears did & to feel that they are right in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains National Park when they stay at Lough Dan. To reduce light pollution all unnecessary outdoor lighting has been removed and the remainder has been put on time/movement sensors. We do not permit the use of light generators on the site so it is dark and you will have to pitch your tents using torches.

We have set up a short 1.5km/1hr night hike in the area adjacent to the site. This is a “Cat’s Eye” night hike where the route is marked out with posts and reflectors and you use your torches to follow the route.

For short camping trips such as weekend camps our philosophy is to keep it simple. We call this “Pitch and Get Out”;. So pitch your tent, grab an altar fire and a picnic table and “Get Out” into all that wonderful Wild Wicklow has to offer.

The staff at Lough Dan can advise as to the best hike routes for the age and ability of your group.

A great activity that does all the above is a Mountain Top Bivvy. Using bivvy bags, sleep out on the top of Scarr Mountain and see the night sky like never before. Bring your stove and enjoy a hot chocolate or a cup of tea while you lie back and ponder the Milky Way.

THE PURE MILE PROJECT ..….Lough Dan participates in the Pure Mile (Protecting Uplands & Rural Areas) working with the local community to keep a stretch of roadway litter free while also considering the preservation and careful maintenance of the flora and fauna, hedgerows, and any other natural or man made heritage features. It is about practicing the Leave No Trace principles and leaving a place better than we found it  not only on the campsite but outside the gates as well.

We won best ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION facility in 2016 and again in 2017

You can help… Please don’t drop litter and if you come across litter you could pick it up and bring it back to the centre where we provide general waste and green bins. Bring a small plastic bag for litter when you go on a hike. Thanks for your cooperation.

THE TREE MUSEUM..This is our new 2.5 km interactive nature trail around the perimeter of the campsite. It introduces participants to the fantastic mosaic of habits we have here as well as reconnecting you with nature in all sorts of ways. You can make bird and bat boxes, go bug hunting, learn about the effects of climate change, use your smart phone as a portal in to natural world. Its a wonderful experience when added to your camping in the middle of the national park. Details and support pack are available from the camp staff.