National Park declares ‘tread lightly’ message as Wales reopens to visitors
Visitors heading to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park this weekend have been told to plan ahead to avoid overcrowding at visitor hotspots and be prepared for reduced facilities and changes to some key services as Wales slowly begins to reopen to visitors for the first time since lockdown began.
Those visiting the National Park are asked to respect the Park, the local communities and each other in a bid to reduce pressure as the Authority works to avoid scenes of overcrowding that have already been experienced at popular tourism destinations across the UK.
Chief Executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Tegryn Jones said: “We know people have missed being outdoors and the important role that nature plays in supporting the health of our nation. We want to encourage people to enjoy Wales’ natural landscapes safely, responsibly and ultimately, more sustainably.”
As part of a five-phase COVID-19 tourism response strategy, the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority aims to encourage a positive shift in visitor behaviour to encourage a ‘nature and environment first’ approach.
A key aspect of this strategy is a focus on allowing nature to continue thriving as it has under lockdown, such as wildlife having been found nesting, feeding or hunting in previously rare or unknown locations. Visitors will be asked to respect this increase in natural activity as a key part of the visitor experience and to tread lightly – leaving a legacy of limited impact on the Park.
“Lockdown has changed the way we all view and appreciate our outdoor spaces and has created a new baseline for how we can approach tourism in Wales,” says Tegryn Jones.
“We’re working with our local communities to offer a warm welcome to our visitors. We urge those who choose to explore our landscapes in the coming weeks and months, perhaps for the first time, to do so with respect – for the people and wildlife that call it home and for each other.
“We want to work together with our communities, visitors and partners to make this moment matter – for the National Park now and for the legacy of our future generations.”