Amid the easing of lockdown, Lulworth Estate is petitioning the government to insist that holidaymakers “respect” the outdoors in a bid to avoid the environmental damage that was caused by visitors in 2020 and is requesting for three countryside rules to be put in place to prevent further trouble.
With the roadmap out of lockdown announced by the Prime Minister on Monday 22nd February 2021, many people will be eager to flock to the coast for staycations this summer.
But after mass littering, toileting in bushes and fly camping last summer, Lulworth Estate wants people to adapt with three steps to better protect the countryside.
Graffiti at Durdle Door
Change of behaviour
Once the lockdown is lifted and visitors can return to the countryside and beaches en masse, the estate wants people to follow what it calls “simple countryside behaviours.”
In a statement from the Lulworth Estate, penned by its owner, James Weld, there are three requests:
“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 barbecue 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.”
Large scale littering
Lulworth Estate is home to some of Dorset’s best known beauty spots including Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door – and consequently attracts huge scores of visitors each summer.
However, in the wake of the lifting of the first lockdown, it was blighted by mass littering, uncontrolled BBQ fires and other environmentally harmful acts. This problem was by no means exclusive to Lulworth, with Wareham Forest being hit by fire caused by barbecues.
The statement from Lulworth Estate continues:
“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.”
Durdle Door in a previous summer
The “beneficial effect nature has”
In conclusion, the statement from Lulworth Estate adds:
“As a nation we are constantly encouraged by the government to take advantage of the beneficial effect nature has on us, but they seem to have forgotten to remind us of our basic Countryside manners.
“Spending months clearing up litter and human faeces day after day, calling 999 to prevent BBQ fires from spreading uncontrolled, or to accidents which didn’t need to happen is not something that anybody wishes to repeat in 2021.”
Lulworth Cove is a natural beauty
The Lulworth Estate’s petition is not yet online, but it is expected to be released in the next few weeks.
More information about Lulworth Estate is on its website.