|Wight Wanders Environmental Policy||Countryside and Seaside Code|
We are committed to the protection of the environment. We aim to contribute to the quality life on the Isle of Wight. Our commitment extends to all our activities. Our goal is to reduce environmental harm, minimize the use of energy and other resources and ensure that the principles of sustainable development are operated throughout our business.
Advice for the public
From a gentle stroll or relaxing picnic to a long-distance walk or heart-pumping adventure, the countryside provides every opportunity for enjoyment and relaxation. There are country parks, beaches, woodlands, rivers and forests, as well as thousands of miles of public rights of way and other sign-posted routes you can explore on foot, on a bicycle or on a horse. You can also walk across some parts of the countryside designated as open land, such as mountain, moor, heath, down and common land.
If you follow the Countryside Code wherever you go, you'll get the best enjoyment possible and you'll help to protect the countryside now and for future generations.
Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs. Refer to up-to-date maps or guidebooks.
You're responsible for your own safety and for others in your care, so be prepared for changes in weather and other events.
Check weather forecasts before you leave and don't be afraid to turn back.
Get to know the signs and symbols used in the countryside to show paths and open countryside.
Leave gates and property as you find them.
Follow paths across land that has crops growing on it, wherever possible.
Use gates and stiles wherever possible - climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
Our heritage belongs to all of us - be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites.
Leave machinery and livestock alone - don't interfere with animals even if you think they're in distress. Try to alert the farmer instead.
Litter and leftover food doesn't just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals and can spread disease - so take your litter home with you. Dropping litter and dumping rubbish are criminal offences.
Wild animals and farm animals can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they're with their young - so give them plenty of space.
Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property - so be careful not to drop a match or smouldering cigarette at any time of the year. Sometimes, controlled fires are used to manage vegetation, particularly on heaths and moors between October and early April, so please check that a fire is not supervised before calling 999.
Showing consideration and respect for other people makes the countryside a pleasant environment for everyone - at home, at work and at leisure.
Busy traffic on small country roads can be unpleasant and dangerous to local people, visitors and wildlife - so slow down and, where possible, leave your vehicle at home, consider sharing lifts and use alternatives such as public transport or cycling.
Respect the needs of local people - for example, don't block gateways, driveways or other entry points with your vehicle.
When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse riders.
This Code for England has been produced through a partnership between the Countryside Agency and the Countryside Council for Wales:
The seaside is a great place to visit and enjoy, but it can be dangerous if you don't take care while you're there. By following the Seaside Code you can stay safe and healthy, and also ensure that you leave all the plants and animals as you found them for others to enjoy. Please respect the coast, and the plants and animals that live there.
|Gift to Nature|
The Isle of Wight is a very special place with landscapes, wildlife and heritage of national and international importance. Visitors have been coming to the Island for many years because of its tranquillity and its rich variety of coast and countryside. Tourism is vitally important to the economy of the Isle of Wight yet very little of the money earned from tourism is put back into looking after the countryside itself.
Gift To Nature is a new scheme which gives visitors the opportunity to put something back into the island's environment. With the support of Island business, Gift To Nature aims to show how tourism and conservation can help each other.
Gift to Nature is all about voluntary giving - it is not a tourist tax. Many tourism businesses on the Island are participating in Gift to Nature by asking their customers to make a voluntary donation through collection envelopes, special collection boxes or by adding a small, optional supplement to the accommodation bill. Other areas in the UK and across Europe have tried this approach, called "visitor payback" and have found it to be generously supported by visitors. In return, the tourism industry can develop more of a caring reputation by demonstrating how tourism can positively help the local environment. All of the money raised through Gift To Nature will be spent on the Isle of Wight on local conservation projects.
The Wight Walks team regularly go beach cleaning whilst out walking the coastal path.
Sandie Norris on Thorness Bay beach Nov 2007 following a high tide.