If you’re planning on exploring the great outdoors, it’s vital that you take care and respect the environment. Not only is it essential for the protection of local landowners and wildlife, but ensures the area will be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
So, to help you on your way, we’ve come up with some top tips for improving your outdoor etiquette...
It goes without saying, but there’s simply no excuse for littering. Not only does it look unattractive, but it can also easily harm surrounding wildlife and plants.
When walking it is common sense to take all rubbish with you, even if you are backpacking, until you see a suitable place to dispose of it. In particular, litter is becoming a big problem on the UK’s three signature peaks (Scafell, Snowdon and Ben Nevis) due to the high amount of people using (and abusing) these routes.
Respect local landowners and wildlife
The main wildlife you will see on your travels is livestock such as cows and sheep. Normally, they won’t bother you while walking, but try to leave them alone as they may not be as friendly as they appear if approached!
Dogs in particular can be a nuisance to livestock, especially ewes during lambing season, so ensure you keep your dog on a lead. Farmers depend on these animals for their livelihood and will not want them in danger.
You’ll also notice that some footpaths go through landowners’ homes and businesses. You have a right to walk through, although it’s best to keep noise to a minimum and shut gates so that animals don’t escape!
Leave no trace
As well as not littering, it’s key to think about how you leave an area you may have camped in. For example, try not to break branches off trees and even pulling moss off stones or logs should be avoided.
When camping, try to spread out if there is a group of you to avoid erosion and causing damage to vegetation.
And finally, when cooking, always favour camping stoves over open fires. Open fires can be damaging to the ground and if not put out properly can cause larger, more destructive fires. Remember the phrase; ‘Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints’.
The Countryside Code
For more details on how you can do your bit, check out the ‘Countryside Code’. This small publication gives simple advice on how to enjoy and look after the countryside, along with tips on how to use way markers and your rights and responsibilities whilst outdoors.
Respect. Protect. Enjoy.