The Peak District National Park is one of the UK’s best loved landscapes with its high moorlands, dramatic rock edges, wooded dales, haymeadows and miles of drystone walls.
The area is enjoyed for outdoor recreation by people who live in the national park, those who live in neighbouring towns and cities as well as holiday makers from further afield.
Bob Young, deputy area team manager for the Peak District National Park Authority explained that keeping the place safe and clean for people, farm animals and wildlife works best when everyone takes their litter home.
He said: “The vast majority of people enjoying the national park act responsibly, follow the countryside code and respect the area’s natural beauty and historic villages.
“However, a few thoughtless individuals carelessly drop litter which damages wildlife habitats and spoils the view for everyone.”
Over a year 60 tonnes of litter are collected from national park authority owned car parks and trails, and as much of this as possible is recycled.
During the recent hot weather the weekly amount of litter collected has doubled. National park rangers are collecting hundreds of bin bags full of litter from Peak District beauty spots when they could be carrying out conservation and education work.
Bob said: “We want everyone to enjoy the Peak District National Park but ask that they put their litter in bins or take it home and re-cycle it where possible. It’s an easy thing everyone can do to show they care about the place.”
Another problem is bagged dog waste being left on traffic-free walking, cycling and riding trails.
Bob added: “We are pleased that most dog-owners dispose of their dog’s waste properly but some irresponsible people are bagging their ‘pooch poo’ and hanging it in trees or throwing it in the verges. The bags do not bio-degrade and have to be collected up and disposed of by rangers. We want all dog-owners to put the waste in bins or take it home and bin it.”
The Peak District National Park is a naturally beautiful area of 555 square miles and its landscapes are of international importance. It has 38,000 residents and is within easy travelling distance of over 16 million people.