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Easter holiday visitors to Wales reminded to ‘play their part’ and follow the Countryside Code

25 Mar 2024 4 minute read
Llyn Ogwen. Image: Neil Thomas. Unsplash

Natural Resources Wales is encouraging visitors to Wales over the Easter holidays to ‘play their part’ amid concerns around congestion, littering and dogs being let off leads in wildlife habitats.Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is gearing up to welcome a high number of visitors to its woodlands and National Nature Reserves over the Bank Holiday weekend and school break – and people are being reminded to follow the Countryside Code and any site-specific guidance.

Increase in visitors

As more people have become aware of the health and well-being benefits of time spent in nature over the last few years, there has been an increase in visitors.

Unfortunately, this has led to a rise in anti-social behaviour and environmental damage such as littering, fires and fly-camping which has an impact on nature.

People are being encouraged to visit responsibly by taking litter home, not lighting fires, being a responsible dog owner, remembering sites are home to a range of wildlife and to keep to waymarked paths and tracks to give nature space and avoid disturbance.

There are a wide range of sites in the area and people are encouraged to seek out some less well-known destinations. You can find a full list on the days out section on the NRW website.

Biodiversity

John Taylor, Team Leader for recreation sites in north west Wales, said: “We have a mix of different recreation sites for people to relax in and enjoy all year round.

“They are also home to a range of wildlife and are biodiversity hotspots which need protecting and, by following the Countryside Code, people can visit safely.

“With a high number of visitors expected in the coming weeks there is concern about congestion and limited availability of parking as well as impacts on wildlife and communities.

“Therefore, we are encouraging people to have a back-up plan in case a destination is too busy on arrival or consider visiting one of our quieter locations – there is so much on offer across the whole region.”

Damage

“It is also important to take litter home, keep dogs under control to protect nesting birds and other wildlife and not to light fires, which can quickly get out of control and cause significant damage to the environment.

“We also want to remind visitors that overnight stays are not allowed on our sites and there are a number of campsites in the area.

“A healthy natural environment full of wildflowers, birdlife and other nature is much more rewarding to visit. The vast majority of people visiting our places behave responsibly and we would like to thank them for doing their bit.”

Wardens will be patrolling NRW sites over the Bank Holiday weekend to answer any questions, provide advice and guidance and ensure visitors have the best experience.

The Countryside Code

A video was created last year to help children learn the Countryside Code starring Aardman Animations’ popular character, Sean the Sheep.

Respect other people

  • Be considerate to those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Do not block access to gateways or driveways when parking
  • Be nice, say hello, share the space
  • Follow local signs and keep to marked paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment

  • Take your litter home – leave no trace of your visit
  • Do not light fires or barbecues
  • Always keep dogs under control and in sight
  • Dog poo – bag it and bin it – any public waste bin will do
  • Care for nature – do not cause damage or disturbance

Enjoy the outdoors

  • Check your route and local conditions
  • Plan your adventure – know what to expect and what you can do
  • Enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory!

You can also view the Countryside Code at Natural Resources Wales / The Countryside Code: advice for countryside visitors.


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