Campers are being urged to respect the Welsh environment this bank holiday weekend.

The Snowdonia National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, National Trust Wales, RSPB Cymru and the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority have written an open letter to visitors to consider the impact ‘fly-camping’ can have on the environment and wildlife, and to only camp at designated campsites.

‘Fly-camping’, when campers pitch tents or park campervans or motorhomes on land without permission, has been on the rise over the summer, especially in Wales’ national parks, forests and nature reserves.

The open letter highlights the damage it can do to the local environment and the surrounding communities and urges campers to find and book official sites ahead of their visits.

Not only is fly-camping an offence when done without the landowner’s permission, it has led to environmental damage, overcrowding, public health concerns, littering, and an increase in the likelihood of wildfires.

With the potential impacts of coronavirus still very much a concern, the coalition has come together to urge those looking to camp overnight in Wales this weekend to act responsibly and only stay at designated campsites.

The letter says: “Wales has seen a significant and worrying increase in ‘fly-camping’ incidents this summer, especially in our National Parks, woodlands and countryside sites. Beyond being an offence, the rise in this unauthorised activity is harming our environment, our wildlife, the tourism sector and our local communities which are all respectively recovering from the effects of the pandemic.

“Coronavirus has not gone away, so everyone still needs to be vigilant and Keep Wales Safe by following government guidelines on handwashing and social distancing. Fly-camping can make following these guidelines difficult.”