NATIONAL nature agencies have issued guidance to Scots enjoying the countryside as covid restrictions ease.
Scotland’s environment agencies asking people to follow three steps: ‘Care for the environment,’ ‘respect the interests of others,’ and ‘be responsible for your own actions.’
This comes as the lockdown restrictions have started to ease. Now record numbers of Scots will be spending the holiday season at home.
This means that more people will be planning to visit nature spots around Scotland.
Francesca Osowska, NatureScot Chief Executive, said: “We firmly believe that the vast majority of people visiting Scotland’s outdoors just want to have a great time, and enjoy our fantastic scenery and wildlife without harming nature or spoiling the adventure for others.
“Many people may not be aware of their rights and responsibilities, or how their actions can affect nature, local communities and other visitors.
“Last year’s scenes of abandoned campsites, burned out trees, human waste and litter, were totally unacceptable and a blight on Scotland’s reputation.
“Our campaign is asking all outdoors visitors to respect other people; protect the environment, and enjoy responsibly.”
In 2020 the “Antisocial and irresponsible behaviour” by some visitors had a “big impact” on nature, according to NatureScot.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, said: “It has been great to welcome visitors from further afield back to the National Park now that travel restrictions have lifted and I want to thank everyone who has enjoyed the Park responsibly for playing their part in protecting this special place.
“The high volume of visitors we are now experiencing does bring with it challenges and while we have additional resources in place, we need everyone who visits the Park to play their part.
“Litter, fly-tipping and human waste cause real problems for wildlife and spoil the natural beauty that draws people here. We will continue to encourage visitors to plan ahead and to leave nothing behind after their trip.”
The nature parks are “really looking forward to welcoming everyone back”.
However, people are being urged to make sure they behave responsibly and care for the nature around them.