picture of a path and gate on a nature reserve

Opinion, Wildlife

What is the Impact of visiting the countryside?

17 Jun , 2019  

Many of us like to visit the countryside, getting out into the fresh air and recharging our energies. However, do we consider the impact we are having?

Think carefully about the area you are going to visit. Question yourself and those with you about how you are going to behave and what activity you are doing. How will that impact the area? Remember, Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.

Horseshoe Bend in the USA has like many places become so popular that it is at risk of being loved to death. People flock there in droves to admire the scenery and take pictures, but for how much longer. The National Park Service is now facing more emergencies because people are ill-prepared, there is improper disposal of human waste, resource damage from off-trail wanderings and more.

We, humans, are destroying the world in which we live. Moreover, our actions will have an impact for many, many years to come. A Navajo Proverb is “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

It is not isolated to the USA, here in the UK and all around the world we cause damage by fly-tipping, leaving litter, not shutting gates on farmland; the list goes on. You may think that not closing a gate is a problem but wait, did you look to see if there were any animals in the field. Did you check to see if an animal was following you and could cause themselves damage? Alternatively, the landowner may not want stock in that field where you left a gate open.

All it takes is a little thought about what you are doing and what effect you are having on the countryside.

A quick checklist

  • Take only memories, leave only footprints (take a picture on your phone).
  • Don’t pick wildflowers.
  • Be careful where you walk, keep to footpaths.
  • Don’t leave any litter or dog poo; take it home.
  • Respect landowners, leave the land how you found it.
  • Respect for flora and fauna, keep dogs on leads and children under control.



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