Enjoy but respect and protect the countryside

VISITORS to the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty are being urged to follow the Countryside Code as lockdown restrictions are eased.

Heather Kerswell, chair of the Surrey Hills AONB Board, said: “We expect to see more visitors and it is important that those who do come follow our guidance to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

BACK TO NATURE – The Surrey Hills will be a popular destination once more as lockdown restrictions are eased

“We encourage visitors to seek out the less well-known areas of the Surrey Hills and keep away from the busy beauty spots where it will be harder to socially distance.

“Please respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors, and where possible support the local business community, who very much need our custom at this time.

“To ensure the countryside is a safe place for all we’ve put together some of our top tips:

  •  Avoid well-known sites such as Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil’s Punch Bowl, which may become congested and therefore difficult to socially distance. Why not visit lesser-known areas?
  • Check before you travel that hospitality, car parks and toilet facilities are open. Some local amenities may not have reopened yet.
  • Take your litter home, leave no trace of your visit.
  • Don’t light fires or barbecuesunless there is a sign to say they are permitted. A fire can soon get out of control and destroy rare habitats.
  • Respect local wildlife and look after natureby sticking to footpaths and bridleways so as not to disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife.
  • Local farms are under great seasonal pressures. Respect their needs by keeping dogs on leads and follow all designated footpaths and bridleways.
  • Observe social distancing measures.
  • Support local businesses during this time of transition.

“We hope that renewed enthusiasm for the Surrey Hills will translate into more people getting involved in caring for nature, wildlife, and the landscape.”

For more information on the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), visit www.surreyhills.org. Surrey Hills AONB updates are also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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