Nobody wants to see litter blighting our special landscape. It not only spoils our views, but it is dangerous to wildlife and pollutes our waterways. Yet research carried out in 2020 showed that a quarter of the visitors asked admitted to littering in the Lake District. This was anything from food waste and plastic bottles to disposable BBQs and camping equipment! Reasons included feeling forced to drop litter because they could not find a bin, the bin was full or equipment was too heavy/bulky to carry.

In the Lake District National Park it is not possible to simply install more bins. Bins not only clutter the landscape, but it’s not practical to try to empty bins in some of the most remote parts of the county. And the National Park Authority do not have the resources to clean up everyone’s litter. So they rely on hard working volunteers.

Friends of the Lake District want to make sure visitors are prepared this summer so they ‘leave no trace’ after their visit. Think about your litter when you plan your visit – Where will you eat? If you are planning a picnic, what will you do with your rubbish? Is there a bin nearby? What equipment are you taking? Is it needed? Will you be able to carry it for your whole walk?

Here are our top tips to make sure you leave no trace:

  • Why not eat in one of our amazing local pubs or cafes? No rubbish, no mess, no fuss.
  • If having a picnic, try reusable bottles and containers that you can use again and again. Much more cost effective and you won’t be contributing to the tonnes of single use plastic waste.
  • Bring a spare bag with you for your messy rubbish so you can take it home.
  • Take note of the locations of bins and toilet facilities – try to enjoy your picnic near to facilities.
  • Most landowners don’t allow BBQs because of the risk of fire – enjoy a picnic or eat from one of the many local eateries instead.
  • Wild camping is not permitted in the Lake District without prior permission from the landowner, so why not try a dedicated campsite? LDNPA have more advice if you do have the landowner’s permission
  • Where possible use dedicated toilet facilities or consider using a ‘Go Anywhere Waste Kit bag’ or ‘WAG bag’, biodegradable waste kits are available online or from some outdoor shops. 
  • Don’t carry more than you can manage – if something is too heavy or bulky for you to carry, then don’t take it or don’t walk too far.

More information about what we are doing to tackle litter>