Hundreds of people will be out in the Lake District this week to spread the message that visitors should take their litter home with them.
The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick takes place on Friday and Saturday and events include a debris dive in Windermere led by Lake District Diving and a hike and litter pick on Scafell Pike.
Over 60 litter picks will take place across Cumbria as part of the event, organised by conservation charity Friends of the Lake District.
Ruth Kirk, landscape engagement officer for Friends of the Lake District said: “During the pandemic, many of us discovered the importance for our well-being of spending time in nature.
“Unfortunately, in the Lake District, this led to a huge increase in littering, anti-social behaviour and fly camping around lakes.
“An army of selfless volunteers amongst our communities were forced to tidy up after others and organisations who look after the Lake District are having to divert staff time and resources into clearing up.
“We need to get the message out to the minority of people who behave in this way that this is unacceptable.”
The organisation has also commissioned a study from Keep Britain Tidy to understand more about out why people leave litter and recommend and develop messages and interventions that can be put in place to change behaviour.
Kate Willshaw, policy officer for Friends of the Lake District, is leading on the research.
She said: “The results of the study are due in mid-June.
“We are anticipating the possibility that we will face the same issues around littering and anti-social behaviour again this year and beyond so it is vital that we research and develop long-term solutions.
“Simply clearing up after people is not sustainable for communities or for the countryside.”
Anyone can take part in The Great Cumbrian Litter Pick either by setting up their own community litter pick or by joining one of the organised ones.
Visit www.thegreatcumbrianlitterpick.org.uk for more information.