New Forest District Council along with the National Park Authority and the Forestry Commission, is reminding residents and visitors to the New Forest to enjoy the area and to take care not to harm it with litter.

A series of prominent posters will soon appear across the Forest, social media will be used to spread the anti-litter messages, and reminder stickers will be put on litter bins – asking people to ‘leave nothing but footprints’, to use a bin or take their litter away with them.

Cllr Sophie Beeton, New Forest District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment explains the approach, “We live in a beautiful area and most people who live here or visit are very respectful of that. There are over one thousand litter bins across the Forest and 97% of our streets pass official inspection as ‘clean’.  We are using the start of the summer holidays for this campaign as it is a busy time and we want everyone to enjoy a litter-free Forest. We’re reminding people to double-check that they have collected up all of their rubbish and put it in a bin or taken it home – that’s why we’re saying leave nothing but footprints.”

Richard Burke, Forestry Commission District Recreation and Public Affairs Manager said, “By working together on this we can reduce litter and avoid the disappointment we feel when we see rubbish by the roadside or discarded in the Forest – and keep this area special.”

Oliver Crosthwaite-Eyre, Chairman of the New Forest National Park Authority said­: “Litter has a negative impact on wildlife, the free-roaming animals and people’s perception of their area. This summer campaign builds on work done in schools, and by rangers when they are out and about. It serves as a reminder that the Forest and its beaches are there to enjoy but we need to play our part in protecting them.”

The estimated clean-up cost of litter removal is over £250,000 per year.