The National Trust condemns campers dumping rubbish at beauty spots

National Trust Dovedale rubbish
Debris left over in the Peak District Credit: Matthew North & National Trust

The National Trust is urging people not to fly-camp on its land to help protect nature and wildlife.

It comes after an unprecedented rise in fly-camping and campervan staycations led to an increase in discarded equipment and rubbish in beauty spots like the Peak District, according to the National Trust.

As a result, resources have been diverted away from conservation work to cleaning up the mess left behind, the charity added.

Abandoned campsite at Longshaw in the Peak District Credit: National Trust

The charity said that its ranger teams are now spending a fifth of their time clearing up after visitors rather than on conservation work.

Since the easing of lockdown restrictions in England, various tourist hot spots including the Peak District and the Lake District have seen significant increases in the numbers of people camping, and a spike in the number of camper vans parking at beauty spots overnight, without permission.

In the Peak District:

In the Lake District:

Campervans at Buttermere in the Lake District Credit: National Trust

Chris Millner, a ranger at Longshaw in the Peak District, said:

The increase in campers and litter has led to more time being spent by National Trust ranger teams and volunteers clearing up after visitors, rather than on conservation work.

Rob Rhodes, head of rangers at the National Trust, added: "The sort of work we want to be doing at this time of year includes managing our flower rich meadows and caring for the wildlife that live there, and vital maintenance work to our network of paths and visitor routes.

"But this unsociable behaviour by some is taking up so much time that it's affecting not only on the upkeep of our sites but taking our staff away from vital conservation work and engaging with visitors.