The Wildlife Trusts are asking Brits heading into nature to "love and look after it", after the easing of lockdown has seen an increase in wildfires, vandalism, littering and a disturbance to wildlife.
Thousands of us have flocked to our local green spaces to seek solace, but not everyone has been respecting it. From ground-nesting birds being trampled on, to wild places being used as outdoor toilets, the charity has struggled to manage the rise in antisocial behaviour.
Following on from people not looking after the areas around them, the charity is asking those heading out on walks to do the following...
- Avoid BBQs and fires
- Take all your litter home
- Keep dogs on leads (check whether they're allowed on-site) and pick up dog mess
- Park considerately
- Cafes and toilets are shut – so limit the length of your visit and stay local!
- Avoid trampling sensitive wildflower meadows
- Smile at the staff
Craig Bennett, CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, says: "The Wildlife Trusts have more nature reserves than McDonalds has restaurants in the UK, but our precious wildlife sites are bad places to hold a BBQ.
"These wonderful wild places are vital local havens for people to enjoy with family and friends, to walk, rest and see nature. Our natural heritage is priceless and so important for us all – for our health and happiness – but it is fragile.
"We're appealing to everyone to love and look after it. Everyone is welcome but please respect our wild places, other visitors and people who work there."
Also commenting is Alan Wright, from the Lancashire Wildlife Trust. He says: "Lockdown is eased and people have taken barbecues onto the moors, which are tinder dry after weeks of no rain.
"They leave the barbecue which is too hot to touch and it starts a fire, which, subsequently, spreads across a dry moor. Moorland fires spread quickly and will take wildlife by surprise, destroying nests and killing chicks, and many of the insects they feed on."
Heading outside this weekend?
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