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Durdle Door: Leave Only Footsteps, Take Only Memories

Lulworth Estate lobbies government for better countryside manners on behalf of UK’s coast and countryside.

The Lulworth Estate have engaged with government and lodged a petition with the Government Petitions Committee to request both immediate and longer-term action regarding the damage experienced in the UK’s countryside after the spring 2020 lockdown eased. With the announcement this week that we can shortly, once again, meet in groups following the rule of 6, we would like to ask that all visitors to all countryside sites, including Durdle Door and Lulworth Cove, follow three simple countryside behaviours.

  • Firstly, to take home with you what you bring, including picnic rubbish, clothing, nappies, bags, umbrellas, rugs and more. If it is yours, we thank you for looking after it.
  • Secondly, not to light fires. Cold or hot takeaway picnics are welcome, but use flasks or insulated containers, not BBQ’s and open fires that can ignite large swathes of the Countryside.
  • Thirdly, be prepared. Wear good sturdy shoes to the countryside and beach. No-one wants their day trip to end with a long ambulance wait for a broken ankle. The NHS are already under immense pressure.

With the petition we are asking the government to enact a public campaign urging domestic tourists, to be responsible countryside citizens. The campaign would be a nationwide incentive for sustained public behaviour messaging:

  • the Prime Minister to make an announcement(s) at the end of lockdown
  • the Minister for Tourism to bring urgent 2021 messaging to day trippers and staycationers
  • the Departments of Education and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to bring a sustained education initiative to the nation, thus creating a lasting legacy.

Once the petition is verified and launched in the next few weeks, we will be sharing the URL widely via social media. Please give it your support, to help protect our countryside’s special places.

Why do we feel this is needed? During the lifting of the first lockdown in May 2020, it was clear that without overseas destinations available for holidaying, tourist day-trips became a huge trend. This hit-and-run approach for holidays had a serious, negative effect on the countryside and coastline with mass littering, fly-camping, graffiti, fire and other environmental concerns being caused by visitors simply unaware of the impact they were having. We earnestly do not want a repeat of this for the upcoming spring and summer as delicate environments cannot sustain the level of degradation they received in 2020. Past messaging such as taking your litter home, protecting the wildlife and leaving a site the way you found it do not appear to be common knowledge or common practice.

We want to bring the ‘countryside code’ to the forefront of people’s minds.

See the full press release (PDF)

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