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Trespass on SSSI sites
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Re: feelings vs facts
Sep 05, 2012, 09:31
Rhiannon wrote:
I'm not saying we shouldn't visit places like those and walk there, sit amongst them, picnic, chat, paint, whatever. That's the very thing we all love doing. And there's minimal harm because there aren't 70,000 visitors a year doing the same thing, maybe not even 70. But some places require us to put our personal whims aside and behave in the long term interests of the site and the people in the future that might want to see their inheritance too. I don't see that's so much to ask.

I don't think there's a "one size fits all" answer to this question. A lot depends on the nature of the individual site. If I could slip into Skara Brae at night, would I? Absolutely certainly. Is it doing any damage? No. Is it encouraging behaviour from others that will cause damage? No. In reality, very few people would care enough to follow my example - assuming they even knew about it in the first place. This is the old adage of "rules are made to be broken". While there's a need for rules, society has often recognised a need for those rules to be flexible enough to be broken occassionally, without that implying that the rules aren't important or should be abandoned. If a handful of people that care enough want to surreptitiously visit Skara Brae, it's not going to cause any problems.

Silbury Hill, on the other hand, is very different. Every person who climbs the hill is creating a visual encouragement for many, many others to do the same - and such behaviour could easily lead to significant damage.

Really, it just comes down to exercising a little bit of common sense.
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