With warmer weather on the way, staff from the RSPB, United Utilities, Peak District National Park, Life for a Life Wood, the Police and Fire Service are launching a heart-felt joint appeal to those planning a visit to Dove Stone.
While it is wonderful that visitors enjoy the countryside, the request is for people to respect the area: by tidying up after themselves, not bringing barbecues and giving a thought to the birds and wildlife that call the site home.
Miriam Biran, RSPB Visitor Experience Manager, said: "With its glistening reservoirs, open green space, woods and picturesque views, it is no surprise that Dove Stone remains a popular place. There's plenty for people to do, from taking a leisurely stroll - watching out for wildlife on the way, to enjoying a picnic. It's fantastic to see people relaxing in the great outdoors.
"However, we are appealing for visitors to treat the site with respect and take pride in the area by taking their rubbish home with them and obeying the signs asking that no fires or barbecues are lit at Dove Stone."
Following warm weekends or evenings, litter left behind by a few individuals, not only spoils the appearance of the site for other visitors, but also presents a danger to sheep and wildlife.
Miriam added: "The simple message is - if you bring it to Dove Stone, please take it away with you. The responsibility really does lie with those visitors bringing food and other items here to take their rubbish away with them."
Visitors are also being encouraged to act responsibly at Dove Stone as staff are reminding people of the dangers of using open fires, including barbecues. Whilst these are great in the garden at home or dedicated areas, Dove Stone can be windy and the grass is very dry, so there is a real danger of open flames getting quickly out of control and destroying large areas of moorland and trees, including memorial trees in the Life for a Life Woodland.
Philip Kersh, Life for a Life Operations Manager, added: "It is wonderful that people and families are coming to Dove Stone to enjoy this magnificent piece of nature but visitors must remember the area is not an extension of their back gardens.
"The dry, warm weather we seem to now enjoy in early spring creates a huge risk of fire as grasses and bracken from the previous season dries out extremely quickly. It may seem a nice innocent activity coming for a barbecue but this dry material does not need much to start a dangerous moorland or woodland fire which will spoil Dove Stone for all visitors and the habitat for ground nesting birds. All the partners involved here would therefore respectfully ask that visitors do not bring barbecues and if you do come for a picnic then please take your rubbish home."
The RSPB are working in close partnership with United Utilities, the Peak District National Park, Life for a Life and the emergency services to keep Dove Stone clean and safe, but visitors can play their part by behaving responsibly and by calling 999 if they see a fire or anyone seen starting fires.
Dove Stone reservoir is owned by United Utilities and the water company works in partnership with the RSPB, who manage the estate. The partnership aims to encourage public access and recreation, while protecting water quality and wildlife for future generations.