Thousands of people will flock to the beautiful countryside over the August bank holiday weekend, to make the most of the last public holiday before Christmas.
CLA South East, which represents thousands of landowners, farmers and rural businesses in Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight, welcomes the influx of visitors but is urging the public to enjoy rural areas responsibly.
Stick to footpaths and bridleways, respect other users of the rights of way, and do not leave personal items on display in cars.
Thefts from vehicles often tend to increase during the summer months and leaving valuables on display or windows down is an open invitation for thieves.
Megan Lock, Rural Adviser at CLA South East, said: “The August bank holiday weekend can be a glorious time to get out into our stunning countryside.
“All we ask is for visitors to follow the Countryside Code. Accessing the fresh air and getting close to nature have widely researched health and wellbeing benefits, but visitors and dog owners need to act responsibly.
“Please don’t stray from footpaths and bridleways, leave gates how you find them, take rubbish home and keep dogs under control.
“Using common sense and courtesy will mean your trip is fun, safe and responsible.”
Here are our top 10 tips:
Stick to footpaths and bridleways, and respect other rights of way users
Don’t leave personal items on display in cars
Leave gates how you find them
Take litter and leftover food home or use the bins provided
Keep dogs under control, and be particularly careful around livestock
Don’t block gateways, driveways or paths with your vehicle
When riding a bike or driving, slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals, and give them plenty of room
Leave machinery and farm animals alone – don’t interfere with animals
Be careful with naked flames and cigarettes as fires can be devastating to wildlife and habitats
Plan ahead and be prepared – take a map in case you have no phone signal, check the weather forecast before heading out and carry water with you.
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