I have been concerned over the last 20 years in the manner of which the natural landscape flora and fauna of the North Kerry area has been treated. The cultivation of the landscape reducing the natural habitats of many of our native species was a worry for me and how we could safeguard the environment while taking visitors into the hidden spectacular nature areas of the Cashen and Ballybunion surrounding areas.
In 2013 I completed a unique course provided by Irelands leading Ecotourism Body Ecotourism Ireland who are the only Irish organization with a Global Sustainable Label from the GSC.
During the year long course we learned of the importance of Interpretation of our natural areas with highlighting both the natural and built heritage with the emphasis on conservation while on the same level ensuring the survival of all habitats and the enjoyment of nature being 90 percent based with the natural areas.
In the proceeding months I formulated an environmental operational document adopting A Leave No Tracy Policy what rubbish is packed in during a visit of a tour is packed out after and disposed of in an environmental manner this we learned from the course provided by Eco Tourism Ireland.
I received a Silver Accreditation for the region for the course completed for Eco Tourism the first label in my region in North Kerry.
The natural areas of North Kerry are both within the SAC region and the Cashen River is within a region of importance for rare birds and plants, conserving these areas is very important me as all tours I take into theses special hidden areas are minimal numbers ensuring the safeguarding of wildlife and the growth of rare plants.
That in mind I continue to reduce water and waste with the aim to reduce my carbon footprint by 2050 and operate sustainable walking and cycling tours into the natural areas of North Kerry along The Wild Atlantic Way.
Danny Houlihan 2015 Ecotourism Ireland Silver 2013-2015