Enjoy the great outdoors, responsibly.
It should be no surprise to learn that an official study has found that since the coronavirus restrictions began nine out of ten people agree that natural spaces are good for mental health and wellbeing. More than 40% noticed that nature, wildlife, and visiting local green and natural spaces have been even more important to their wellbeing.
Together with the challenges in planning travel overseas, more of us have explored nature on our doorstep. Initiatives during stay-at-home this past year has encouraged many to find new ways of learning. The Durham WIldlife Wild@Home resources, and the education packs available on Living Uplands, have been hugely popular.
As we head towards another summer it is good to remember that while enjoying the great outdoors we need to be responsible and respect the countryside and landscape. It is as fragile as it is beautiful.
Anticipating continued interest in getting outdoors as summer approaches the Countryside Code has been refreshed, on the 70th Anniversary of the founding document.
Especially over the coming months as the ground-nesting birds settle down to raise new chicks there are a number of very important things to keep in mind:
- Please don't stray from footpaths, to avoid disturbing ground-nesting birds and perhaps walking over fragile flora trying to break out after a long winter.
- Please don't light fires or BBQs or carelessly discard a lit cigarette, especially when conditions are dry. These risk wildfire which can be devastating to a moor.
- Please take your rubbish home. Discarded packaging can be a hazard for wildlife, and bottles are another wildfire risk.
- If you have a dog please keep it under control, on a lead or at heel to prevent ground-nesting birds being alarmed or the nests damaged.
- Please close gates behind you.
The fully updated Countryside Code is available for download.
Enjoy the freedom of the great outdoors, responsibly.