The National Trust, alongside its partners, is taking steps to combat poor visitor behaviour - starting in the Lake District's Wasdale Valley.

The issue has escalated since the Covid-19 outbreak, with rising inconsiderate parking, fly camping, fires, littering, and damage to the landscape including protected Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

The Wasdale Valley is said to be a particularly problematic area.

As the weather turns warmer, its narrow road is cluttered with illegally parked cars.

Fly campers are trampling and starting fires on the Greendale Mires SSSI right next to Wastwater – actions that jeopardise the health of the heritage site.

The effects are not only detrimental to the environment but are impacting the local farming community and obstructing emergency vehicles like the Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team.

Rangers cleaning up after fly campersRangers cleaning up after fly campers (Image: Supplied)

In response to this situation, the Wasdale Visitor Management Group is implementing a series of onsite interventions.

This includes placing boulders along the edge of the Greendale Mires SSSI to prevent parking and driving onto it, increased enforcement presence to move campers to dedicated sites and ticket illegally parked vehicles, and improved signage in strategic locations in and around the valley.

Additionally, a free shuttle bus service will operate during busy times to decrease the number of cars and ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all.

The Wasdale shuttle bus will run every weekend and bank holiday from Ravenglass station via Muncaster Castle between May 25 and September 15.

New SSSI signs at Greendale MiresNew SSSI signs at Greendale Mires (Image: Supplied)

Neil Thirkell, lead ranger at the National Trust said: "These measures are needed to prevent damage to some really quite delicate and important areas – and we have to remember this is a working landscape.

"It would be appreciated if visitors could take the bus and remember to park sensibly while giving thought to the damage they may be causing."

Steve Ratcliffe, the Lake District National Park Authority’s director of sustainable development and chair of the Cumbria Strategic Visitor Management Group, urged visitors to take the shuttle bus.

He said: "As one of the multi-agency partners of the SVMG, the Lake District National Park Authority is working hard with the community of Wasdale to improve the visitor experience and behaviour in the valley.

"We want to reduce the dangers to emergency services caused by parked cars.

"We urge visitors to make use of the Shuttle Bus for the sake of the Wasdale environment and the safety of all visitors and residents.”

SSSI protection measures at WastwaterSSSI protection measures at Wastwater (Image: Supplied)

Karl Melville, assistant director of Highways and Transport, echoed this sentiment, encouraging visitors to use public transport to appreciate the wonderful scenery.

He said: “We want to welcome visitors to enjoy our beautiful part of the world, we have so many outstanding areas in Cumberland such as the Wasdale Valley.

"To do so, it's essential to act responsibly and this also includes parking, where we park and how we park.

“When parked vehicles block pedestrian footways, it forces people onto the road, putting them at risk from oncoming traffic.

"Additionally, drivers might unintentionally block emergency vehicles, creating unnecessary delays for those in need of urgent assistance. “We encourage visitors to use public transport to fully appreciate our wonderful scenery.

"If you must drive, please use one of the many car parks and keep the roads clear for safe access and use for others such as our large farming community.

“We would really appreciate everyone’s cooperation on this matter, by working together, we can improve the safety and convenience of our local communities, as well as helping you to have an enjoyable visit to Cumbria.

“Before you park, please think!”

The National Trust is urging all visitors to adhere to the Countryside Code when visiting the outdoors and to report any damage, such as illegal camping, off-road driving, fires, or graffiti, to Cumbria Police stating heritage crime.