Ramblers stands up for all countryside visitors, following response to Lulworth Estate petition

A woman crouching down and smiling, in woods

Presenter and Earth Scientist, Dr Anjana Khatwa (above)

The Ramblers has written to the Times to express dismay at a petition from the Lulworth Estate that appears to blame a ‘younger and more geographically and culturally diverse cohort’ for littering their beaches. The letter, signed by Ramblers’ ambassador Dr Anjana Khatwa and spokespeople from across the environment sector, strongly objects to the singling out of specific sectors of society. Everyone, regardless of background, should feel welcome to enjoy the benefits of walking in nature.

We write to express our dismay and disappointment regarding the nature of the petition lodged by the Lulworth Estate to the government regarding the littering that occurred on their estate last summer (‘Culturally diverse’ crowds blamed for seaside litter and vandalism, 24 February). In their petition, the Lulworth Estate refer to the ‘younger and more geographically and culturally diverse cohort’ for littering their beaches. Whilst we agree that the littering and environmental degradation was appalling, we strongly object to the singling out of specific sectors of society.

We believe everyone, regardless of background, should be able to benefit from walking in nature, enjoy the countryside and feel welcome. It’s fantastic that one of the positive things to come out of the last year is that so many people have discovered the joy of walking and the positive effect connecting with nature has on our health and wellbeing. But we also know that access to nature is unequal and not everyone has easy access to green space. The government needs to make this a priority by creating more green spaces close to home in our towns and cities and improving links to the countryside, meaning that people don’t have to travel miles to visit beauty spots, but can enjoy nature on their doorsteps.

We all have a role to play in protecting our beautiful countryside and keeping walking safe and enjoyable for everyone – for those new to walking, the Countryside Code is a great place to start for advice to ensure you have an enjoyable walk that won’t have any negative impact.

  • Dr Anjana Khatwa, Presenter and Earth Scientist
  • Gemma Cantelo, Head of policy & advocacy, the Ramblers
  • Phillip Hygate, Chairman, NAAONB
  • Lucy McRobert, Wildlife author
  • Dr Mya-Rose Craig D.Sc.h.c., Black2Nature
  • Gillian Burke, Biologist and TV presenter BBC Springwatch
  • Neal Anderson, Institute for Outdoor Learning
  • Lorna Rees, Artistic Director, Gobbledegook Theatre
  • Tom Munro, Dorset AONB Manager
  • Carlton Romaine, Coordinator of Black & Green Programme
  • M Dhalech, Mosaic Outdoors
  • Dr Geeta Ludhra, Dadimas/Brunel University  
  • Dr Rob Lambert, Environment academic and Broadcaster
  • Luke Rake, Kingston Maurward College/Dorset Local Nature Partnership
  • Nathalie Sherring, Dorset Race Equality Council
  • Hugh Warwick, Author and ecologist
  • Maxwell A. Ayamba, Sheffield Environmental Movement
  • Dominic Couzens, Nature writer
  • Jini Reddy, Author and journalist
  • Cherelle Harding, Steppers UK

Enjoy the outdoors

Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors with the Countryside Code.