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Look Don’t Touch: Why It’s Important To Protect Wildlife During Holiday Season

Live in harmony with nature on your next big holiday.

77% of UK holidaymakers would consider their impact on the environment in a post-pandemic world — this follows a pause in widespread travel that saw nature recover in a year of lockdown. From clean waterways and reduced traffic to more wildlife entering human settlements, it’s clear as day to see how Earth benefited from less human intervention. 

That said, the absence of tourism was both a blessing and a curse. The loss of business took a financial toll on holiday providers, and the desperate lack of adventure left many yearning for their big trip. As the world edges closer to normality, we ask: why is it important to protect nature when planning a post-pandemic adventure? 

The Lake District is proud to welcome new faces, but in return, you should look to live in harmony with this protected land. In this article, we explore your holiday’s impact on wildlife, the rise of eco-friendly accommodation, and how to best preserve nature during your stay. 

What impact does tourism have on the Lake District? 

The Lake District is among Britain’s most popular tourist destinations, with millions of visitors flocking to its mountainous landscapes and shimmering lakes every year. This high demand calls for a myriad of facilities such as hotels, marinas, and leisure complexes, which isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of the lush green, unspoilt area. 

Tourism provides the Lake District with many benefits, from steady income to raising awareness around important conservation work. But there are downsides. For instance, traffic causes congestion on the narrow roads, large numbers of hikers accelerate footpath erosion, and popular water sport activities damage the lakes, disturbing local wildlife. 

Sustainable tourism is key to holidaying in the Lake District. Guarded by its partners such as the National Trust, the vision is laid out as follows: for the National Park to be an inspirational example of sustainable development in action. The local community wants to profit from your holiday so long as it’s in keeping with the environment and supports their mission. 

How to protect nature on your next holiday (a few top tips)

Protecting wildlife during the holiday season doesn’t begin and end with choosing eco-friendly accommodation. Far from it in fact. You should continue to live in harmony with the Lake District long into your stay. In this section, we reveal a few top tips for protecting nature while enjoying your holiday. 

Marvel at wildlife from a safe distance

The rolling hills and mossy woodland of the Lake District are teeming with life, from farm animals to wild rarities like red squirrel, marsh harrier, and otter. But while an honour to be around the best of British nature, you must treat local wildlife with respect. As such, you should only seek to observe these animals from a safe distance, otherwise, you risk disturbing their dens or nests — a particularly precarious event during the breeding season. 

To do this successfully you’ll need a tool kit, namely a range of binoculars for all scenarios. 8X binoculars are fine for birdwatching around the campsite at Dodgson Wood. 10X binoculars, on the other hand, are more suited for long distance viewing over the lakes, perhaps Haweswater RSPB Reserve, Coniston or Windermere. The stronger magnification gives a narrow field of view, ideal for long distance birding and animal watching. 

Ensure you accommodation respects the local area

Big change starts on a local level by respecting a place’s culture and deep-rooted values. This is a notion that should extend to your chosen accommodation. After all, you should stay in a place that lives in harmony with the area and supports the local community. 

The Lake District is famed for its proud agricultural heritage, so there is plenty of local food and hospitality to enjoy. Dodgson Woods, for example, is a family-owned business with owners who advocate sustainability and high animal welfare farming. The two owners, John and Maria, also believe in farm diversification. This includes the accommodation sites and a range of homemade products like wool and soap. They also distribute meat across the local area in butchers and restaurants — talk about caring for the community. 

Summary: why is it important to protect wildlife on holiday? 

Protecting wildlife and the local area while on holiday is all about staying and leaving without a trace. You should look to maximise the benefits of tourism like improving the local economy and supporting conservation work, but also minimise your more negative impacts such as habitat disturbance. This is important because you allow the Lake District to continue its mission without being a hindrance to future success. 

Many thanks for this article given to us on behalf of RSPB.

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