10 ways to be egg-cellent outdoors this Easter

Whether it’s an adventurous Easter egg hunt, an overdue catch-up with friends, or a family walk in the woods, many of us will be getting outdoors and enjoying the countryside this Easter break.

From rolling hills and winding paths to brisk beaches and floral fields, Wales is brimming with beautiful and rugged scenery waiting to be explored as spring arrives and the days stretch longer.

Alongside the all-important decision of where to stop for refreshments en route, here’s a list of 10 things you need to keep in mind when enjoying the countryside this Easter:

  1. Check your route and local conditions, and plan your adventure carefully: Welsh weather is unpredictable, so it’s important as we transition into spring that you’re prepared for the conditions. And don’t bank on Wi-Fi or a strong phone signal when you’re out and about; have a map handy or download a map of your route to use offline.

  2. Follow local signs and keep to marked paths unless wider access is available: familiarise yourself with the signs and symbols of the countryside, and always keep a look out for them. For example, did you know that the acorn sign doesn’t symbolise Easter bunny food, but rather a National Trail!

  3. Be nice, say hello, share the space: spread some happiness this Easter and say ‘hello’ or ‘shwmae’ to those you see, just a simple one or two words could transform somebody’s day (it’s actually in the Countryside Code - we are a friendly bunch in Wales!).

  4. Be considerate to those living in, working in, and enjoying the countryside: respect everyone and everything you come across in the countryside, especially the farmers working all hours – no Easter holiday for them!

  5. Care for nature - do not cause damage or disturbance: leave rocks, stones, eggs (except the chocolate kind), plants and wildlife as you find them; that includes snowdrops (the first sign of spring!), butterflies basking in the sun, and migrating common toads!

  6. Leave gates and property as you find them: whether on your own or in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates. Farmers often close gates to keep animals in or leave them open to give access to food and water. You could even turn this into a game to keep kids entertained – who is the gatekeeper on your walk?

  7. Do not block access to gateways or driveways when parking: only park in marked safe areas and make sure you’re not leaving your car, bike or scooter in the way of important access for farmers and people living there.

  8. Take your litter home - leave no trace of your visit: remember to bring a bag with you and take your rubbish and food waste home from picnics and Easter treats. Use public bins or recycle if possible; litter spoils the beauty of the countryside and can be dangerous to wildlife and livestock. The Easter bunny may be a fan of chocolate eggs and colourful wrappers, but they are not so good for wild rabbits and hares!

  9. Always keep your dogs under control and in sight: the countryside, parks and the coast are great places to exercise your dog but you need to consider other people and animals, especially ground-nesting birds and lambs at this time of year. Keep your dog under effective control, on a lead, or in sight to make sure it stays away from wildlife, livestock, horses and other people unless invited.

  10. With dog poo - bag it and bin it in any public waste bin or take it home: no one wants their Easter holiday spoiled by a dog poo that’s been left behind so don’t be a rotten egg - always clean up after your dog to prevent illness in people, livestock and wildlife. Never leave bags of dog poo around, even if you intend to pick them up later. Deodorised bags and containers can make bags of dog poo easier to carry. If you cannot find a public waste bin, you should take it home and use your own bin.

This advice and more can be found in the Countryside Code. Find out more here: www.naturalresources.wales/countryside-code