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Leave only footsteps... respect, protect, enjoy.

Family Wild Walks, Nature connection, Outdoor Family Camping -

Leave only footsteps... respect, protect, enjoy.

So lockdown may soon be easing, and you might be dreaming, as we have, of going a bit further than a few miles from your front door... perhaps you are thinking about finding a cosy little campsite tucked in the hills, maybe finding a magical hidden spot no-one else has found.

At Outdoor People we love wild camping and hammocking, we love to encourage people to go a bit further and seek out the wilder spots. So it was deeply depressing to read about some rogue wild campers in Dartmoor who have been dumping litter, tents (and worse).

Litter left by wild campers photo New Forest Park Authority

Source: From fire to faeces and litter, UK beauty spots battle with influx of poorly behaved visitors during lockdown, 2020, M Cuff

We were chatting to our Marmot rep Hazel - lovely person, just adopted a cat - and reminiscing about how when we were at school we all learnt about the Countryside Code. Do they still teach that? To be honest, we don't know.

When the National Parks Commission first came up with the Countryside Code they hoped it would mean: ‘…as knowledge spreads, there should be much less of the damage often done by sheer thoughtlessness in well-intentioned people.’

It isn’t very long, it’s not complicated, it isn’t hard to follow and it applies to nearby urban green spaces as well as to mountains and moors.

The Countryside Code. Respect. Protect. Enjoy.

Leave No Trace Poster

Could you share? Or could we, as a community, do something better?

Maybe you could come up with a better designed version that might go viral and help people think twice before they leave a bag of dog poo at the trig point on top of a mountain (we counted over 30 bags at the top of Moel Famau last summer... and far more than that by a fence post in Epping Forest).

Maybe something along the lines of the poster designed by our Netil Market neighbours Brother to challenge unthinking picknickers who were leaving piles of rubbish in London Fields.

The dumped tents, open fires in woodlands, mounds of plastic... if you have ideas about how we can make sure visitors to green spaces, whether urban oases like London Fields or the top of Dartmoor, #LeaveNoTrace, then do share it with the #OutdoorPeople community! Let's help everyone to take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints...


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