Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints

The GREAT outdoors. It is great, until a few individuals feel the need to spoil it. Sorry I may go off on a tangent with this blog post but I am a firm believer in “take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints.”

I have seen several tweets recently from people who have been out on their adventures or just walking the dog and reported collecting other people’s rubbish. Don’t get me wrong, we have all inadvertently dropped the odd sweet wrapper or tissue from our pockets but a carrier bag of left over yoghurt, cake and other food that had been wedged in between some rocks had definitely not been accidentally dropped, or even forgotten. Heartbreaking. The annoying thing is there really is no need for it out on the hills because most people will be out for the day and using a rucksack. So why can’t the clingfilm and the banana skins go back in the bag and come back down the mountain?

Forgive me if I am wrong but isn’t it the whole reason for visiting the Highlands, the West coast or even just your local park, after all, it’s beauty is what we are attracted to. Unspoiled as nature intends.

Some dog walkers don’t get away scot-free either. Please note I said some! In my eyes if you own a dog (of ANY size) you make an instant unwritten contract to clear up after said dog! My gripe is with the minority who seem to think they are doing you a favour by actually picking up and bagging their dog’s deposit and then hanging the bag on the nearest branch! This is not seen as removal of the faeces and is a criminal offence for which the owner (or person in charge of the dog) will be fined. This is probably my biggest bug-bear for two reasons – 1) there is now an unnecessary piece of plastic hanging from a tree that contains dog poo 2) it’s just grim and lazy!

Sorry to go on about that last one but it had to be said.

Today on my walk out with Dude I also saw a couple of trees with carved initials on the trunk. Why on earth would you want to do this?

Just a couple of suggestions if you are going out and about for a big day out on the hills – PLEASE bring your rubbish back home with you. Take an extra carrier bag with you if you must to keep your empties away from your kit.  If you are just away to take the dog out for a quick run remember your poo bags.

Leave places as you would wish to find them. Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints. This way we can keep the outdoors great.

On a good note: we did see a Peregrine and a Red Squirrel whilst out today.