THE bank holiday weekend is upon us and organisations championing rural issues are calling on the public to act responsibly when in the countryside – and to pay particular attention to fire safety.
Midlands director of CLA (formerly the Country Landowners’ Association) Mark Riches said: “We completely understand that, whatever the weather, people will want to head to the open spaces and fresh air of our rural beauty spots this weekend.
“But – especially under current circumstances – please remember that the British countryside is not simply a playground, it is a place of work where the land, livestock, machinery, wildlife and environment must be respected.
“In line with advice from Defra and Public Health England, we urge everyone to maintain social distancing, and to use common sense and the Countryside Code. This includes keeping dogs under close control and on leads near livestock, not blocking field entrances and generally respecting the lives and livelihoods of those who live and work in rural areas.
“After a prolonged dry spell it is vital that extra care is taken due to the increased fire risk, especially on hillsides, moors and heathland as warm, dry, and windy conditions have elevated wildfire conditions across large swathes of the region.
The association adds that people should check on the availability of parking, access and facilities before travelling.
The Countryside Code, which details the responsibilities for visitors to the countryside and those who manage the land, can be found here.