Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust encourages people to be responsible and look after nature this spring

Jon Hawkins - Surrey Hills Photography 

As lockdown eases, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is anticipating an increase in numbers of visitors to nature reserves.

Spring is a wonderful time to enjoy wildlife and, from 29 March, we are no longer legally required to stay at home and groups of six or two households can meet outdoors. Visiting a nature reserve seems like an ideal opportunity to connect with nature and much-missed family and friends.

However, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is concerned about a repeat of the behaviour witnessed at many of their reserves when lockdown lifted last summer. Disappointingly, the surge in people heading back outdoors in 2020 resulted in an increase in littering, vandalism, fires, illegal parking and disturbance to wildlife.

Paul Learoyd, Chief Executive, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust:
“The majority of people who visit our reserves do so with care and do understand that they are protected for their wildlife. But sometimes the sheer number of visitors can lead to problems. Nature has been there for us over the last year when we’ve needed it most and now it needs our help.”

Spring is a vital time for wildlife and the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is asking people when visiting nature reserves and the wider countryside to:

  • stay on the paths
  • take litter home
  • don’t light fires or barbeques
  • check in advance if dogs are allowed, and if they are allowed, keep them on a short lead to avoid disturbance to nesting birds
  • be mindful that car parks may quickly become full, please don’t park on the verges – this damages wildlife habitat and can prevent emergency vehicles from accessing sites

Please remember to:

  • stop and listen to the bird song
  • breath in the fresh air
  • enjoy the special wildlife

The nature reserves are amongst the richest places for wildlife in Lincolnshire and are home to some of the rarest species found in the county. At this time of year, wildlife is particularly vulnerable. Wildflowers are emerging and can be easily crushed underfoot. Birds are starting to nest often low to or on the ground. This makes them especially vulnerable as they can be trampled on or disturbed by inquisitive dogs. One dog sniffing a nest or one person walking off the path may not cause a problem but when this happens repeatedly it will have an impact.

For more information about dog walking and wildlife, please visit the dog walking pages of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website.

The latest information on nature reserves, visitor centres and events in relation to the easing of lockdown can be found on the Coronavirus page of our website.