Local MP, David Rutley, has joined the National Trust’s Lead Ranger at Lyme Park, Chris Dunkerley in calling for visitors to respect the countryside by taking home their litter, not taking BBQs out with them and avoiding lighting fires.
During the pandemic, many people have reconnected with nature and the countryside. The vast majority of visitors have done this in a respectful way, but there have still been too many who have been inconsiderate by using BBQs, lighting fires or littering. Litter not only blights the landscape, but also poses a real threat to wildlife and pets, which can become entangled in the rubbish or mistake it for food.
Following his virtual meeting with Mr Dunkerley, David is urging visitors to our countryside to do so responsibly, particularly with drier weather set to return over the days ahead. It is important that people put their litter in a bin or better take it home with them. He is also asking them to leave their BBQs at home and not to take risks by starting fires. These steps will also take pressure off emergency services and allow National Trust rangers and others who tend our countryside to get on with their important work, rather than having to clean up after inconsiderate visitors.
A recent poll commissioned by the National Trust has shown how more than two-thirds of adults agreed that spending time noticing the nature around them has made them feel happy during lockdown. The poll also revealed how interest in nature has increased, particularly among the 25-34 year old age group, and that more people are still spending more time in nature compared to a year ago.
As part of the National Trust’s broader mission, it plays a vital role in helping to connect more people with nature and enable them to better understand the need to protect the environment. The Trust is gradually reopening its parks and gardens in England through advanced bookings, including at Lyme Park, as it welcomes more members of the public back to its properties in response to the easing of lockdown measures.
Following the meeting, David said, “I strongly support the National Trust’s call to respect the countryside. Spending time in nature is good for health and our emotional well-being. It is great to see more people connecting with nature and enjoying more time being physically active outdoors. But we need to show our respect by taking our litter home, not taking BBQs out on trips and not lighting fires. They are simple steps that make a real difference to our much-loved countryside.”