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Georgina Towler | 15 February 2021
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During lockdown we’ve all been so thankful for our local outdoor spaces, be it the local park or nearby woods and fields. Getting out into the fresh air for a walk or run around has been much needed for everyone! Whilst we’re spending time in these outdoors spaces it’s important to remember to take care of the environments around us and ‘Leave No Trace’ behind us. Here are some things to remember whilst out in the countryside.
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Stick to footpaths and open access land, using gates and stiles where you can. Climbing over hedges or through untouched areas of land can damage plants and habitats. Many species of birds also nest on the ground in open habitats, so roaming of piste could disturb them.

It’s a great idea to have a route in mind before setting off but take a map and a compass with you just incase you lose your way!

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It can be great fun to collect twigs and leaves for woodland creations back home, but remember only to collect things which have already fallen onto the path! Perhaps take along a magnifying glass to check out some of the habitats you find without disturbing them. If you want to capture the memory to take home, you could take a photograph or even draw a little sketch in a pocket notebook.

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Take any litter home with you! Left over food and rubbish can be dangerous to wildlife as well as spoiling the environment for others. Even biodegradable waste can be harmful to some animals and can interrupt the natural ecosystems, so make sure you take everything home with you, including your picnic leftovers.
You can even go one better and take someone else’s litter home with you too!

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If you’d like to continue your efforts at home too, you can help us all to protect the countryside by getting involved with some conservation campaigns. Organisations such as the John Muir and National Trusts carry out a range of activities to get involved with such as collecting rubbish, maintaining paths and walls, as well as helping to rewild our landscape.

You might also like to see if you school is a part of the Woodland Trust’s ‘Green Tree School Awards’ or perhaps think about planting some trees in your own garden if you have space.