While the vast majority of people treat the countryside with respect, the CLA says that people who live and work in rural areas are preparing themselves for the threats that bank holidays inevitably bring.
CLA Midlands regional director Mark Riches said: “Of course we welcome others to share the beauty and tranquillity of the countryside. Indeed, many of our rural businesses depend on the benefits they provide to our visitors. However, I would remind people that the countryside is also a place of work where the land, livestock, environment property and wildlife must be treated with respect.”
“There are almost daily reports - including a proliferation of graphic images on social media - of sheep and cattle that have been killed by out of control dogs. Please keep your dog on a lead if you are anywhere near livestock. Even the best-trained family pet can chase sheep and wildlife if not kept under close control.
“Litter is an obvious blight on the landscape and can also cause harm to wildlife, livestock and the environment, so please take responsibility for disposing of your own rubbish. Of greater, and increasing, concern is fly-tipping. We all take advantage of a long break to do some work around the house and garden, but it is your responsibility to ensure that any waste is disposed of legally. Fines for fly-tipping can be as much as £50,000 as well as potential custodial sentences and seizing of vehicles.
Mr Riches suggests that all visitors to rural destinations should familiarise themselves with the Countryside Code, available online or in many information centres and destinations. He adds: “The Countryside Code contains much sensible, practical advice, and - as with life in general - a little respect and common sense will benefit everyone.”