Irresponsible Campers Dealt With By National Trust Rangers

Areas of outstanding natural beauty and sites of special scientific interest are being despoiled by increasing numbers of irresponsible, inconsiderate and criminal campers and land owners like the National Trust are forced to expend a lot of time and effort catching and educating or cleaning up after the minority of wild campers who spoil it for everyone else.

The despicable practice of abandoning camping gear and refuse at festivals seems to be spreading into the great outdoors and this unfortunate underclass of campers is also showing little regard for where they should and should not camp. National Trust rangers and volunteers in Cumbria, for example, have said they are spending hundreds of hours each week asking people to move illegally pitched tents and clearing up all the mess that is left behind by irresponsible campers.

Just this month, rangers and volunteers working for the National Trust in Cumbria have had to clear up several entire camps including tents, chairs, fires, litter, beer cans and even supermarket trollies, which were evidently used to bring all the stuff to the site in the first place. Why they could not be used to cart it away again is beyond imagining. The selfish disregard for other people, wildlife, nature and the planet beggars belief.

It is not only tent campers but also some of those in campervans who are leaving a trail of devastation in their wake, expecting someone else to clean up their mess. It is not only the rubbish and in some cases faeces left behind which create problems. In some cases, campers are choosing to pitch or park in unsuitable locations, delicate sites of special scientific interest, for example, where extra special flora and fauna can be damaged by unthinking visitors.

National Trust Ranger John Pring stated, “Our focus is always to encourage and support people to have an amazing outdoor experience whilst respecting the environment. The actions of a minority this summer, have prompted us to issue a reminder about how to wild camp responsibly.” He went on to outline some basic rules to which all wild campers should adhere.

He continued: “In the last few months we have spent more time clearing up campsites and moving people on to legal sites. The only thing that is wild about this sort of camping is how it makes us feel. It damages an incredibly beautiful place and means we have less time for our other jobs. Our experience is that most people want to do the right thing so our focus is on helping them understand where and how they can camp responsibly”