Litter and a used barbecue in the national park. Photo: PDNPA

Litter and a used barbecue in the national park. Photo: PDNPA

The boss of the Peak District national park has pleaded with visitors to respect the countryside as numbers coming to the area increase with lockdown easing.

Sarah Fowler, chief executive of the park authority also said people should not rush back to the area.

She said increasing amounts of litter were causing problems for staff.

Ms Fowler said: “Following changes to the government’s Covid-19 guidance on travel for exercise earlier this month, we have seen the public drawn to the Peak District to reconnect with the outdoors.

“Sitting at the heart of the nation and with so many communities on our doorstep, it remains important that people do not rush back to provide our national park with the space and time to offer a warm welcome when all our visitor and hospitality facilities can open once again.

“I ask those who do choose to explore our landscapes – perhaps for the first time – to do so with respect. For the people and wildlife that call it home and for each other.

“We’ve all had it tough, and some really simple actions done well right now will help us all benefit from the beauty, nature and history of our national park:

  • No barbecues or naked flames – this is especially critical with the current prolonged warm and dry spell we are experiencing, which brings with it an increased risk of wildfire
  • Take home what you bring – our national park rangers and partner agencies are increasingly being confronted by large amounts of litter, when their time and resources could be focused on ensuring others have a safe and enjoyable experience in the Peak District
  • Park safely and be flexible – if car parking spaces are full, then seek somewhere else less busy. Our recently launched car-park alert system will help to advise visitors on areas that are already busy and crowded, and within its first week, the information has reached more than 200,000 people
  • If an area feels too crowded, it is too crowded – make sure you maintain that all-important social distance as we all need to do our bit to further reduce infection rates and minimise the spread of Covid-19.

“I also want to express my thanks to both visitors and local communities who are going the extra mile to keep their favourite routes and places free of litter, the messages we have received on our social media show that for many, being #PeakDistrictProud remains as strong as ever.

Carrier bags of litter collected by a visitor. Photo: PDNPA

Carrier bags of litter collected by a visitor. Photo: PDNPA

“These unprecedented times have bought home for many the importance of spending time outdoors being active, healthy and connecting to nature, whether we live in towns or cities or the smallest of Peak District villages. It is vital we respect this interconnectivity between us all so the Peak District can be a safe home and offer a safe welcome.

“Respecting and protecting the Peak District national park is a responsibly that lies with each and every one of us so we can enjoy our access together.”

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Peak District boss calls for a halt to moorland burning during Covid-19 crisis
  2. Peak District boss pleads: stay away from our national park
  3. Peak District bosses plead with residents not to block paths during Covid-19 crisis
  4. Lake District boss says stay away as national parks prepare for lockdown easing
  5. Cyclist Alex Waddington plans 100-mile clean-up challenge across Peak District