Please don’t walk on the wild side in the countryside

Festive walks in Scotland’s countryside can be a highlight of the Christmas season– but an appeal has been made to those taking access to treat rural areas responsibly and respectfully during the break.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), which represents farmers, land managers and rural businesses, yesterday reiterated their year-round call for people to take litter home, not disturb wildlife and keep dogs under control near cows and sheep.

The request follows the high-profile issues of littering, anti-social behaviour, vandalism and flytipping in rural Scotland which have arisen during the course of the pandemic.

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Despite the travel restrictions in place , SLE said it still expected an increase in visitors to rural areas and it was important to once again to flag up the need for a responsible attitude to be adopted in order to avoid farmers and land managers being forced to mount clean-up operations or protect livestock from dogs:

“There is no better place to be at Christmas than rural Scotland – especially if we get the weather to enjoy walks in the fresh air against a beautifully scenic backdrop,” said Sarah-Jane Laing, SLE’s chief executive

She said that although Christmas would be different for most this year, she still expected many to be walking their dogs or exercising in the countryside in an attempt to improve their physical and mental wellbeing:

“Our message on behalf of farmers and land managers is to enjoy our rural areas but remember to do so responsibly and respectfully.

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