Almost without exception, all our communities have reported that they have seen a big increase in residents walking during 2020 and the beginning of 2021 taking their daily exercise as recommended by UK Governments. We could say that there has been little else to do but we would like to think that many people have learnt to enjoy their walks and particularly, the peace and improved health that nature and the countryside brings.
Many of our communities experienced increased sales of leaflets where they were able to make them available or free to residents. This surge in residents’ walking or at times from other areas, also led to problems of litter, wild camping, campfires, damaging beauty spots, and trespass, let alone sheep worrying. Condemnation in the nation’s press and on social media together with increased promotion of the Countryside Code and ad hoc litter picking has tried to deal with these increased troubles. Some fear a repeat this summer with enforced staycations.
Natural England refreshed the Countryside Code in time for Easter, issued a new downloadable toolkit and a campaign of advertising for 2021 to promote positive behaviour. Walkers are Welcome have written a new factsheet Advice for New Walkers which is packed with useful information.
Advice to New Walkers – Click here to download (PDF).