HOW IS MASS TOURISM IMPACTING THE ENVIRONMENT?

Through the likes of Instagram and Youtube, the ‘backpacker’ and vagabond lifestyle is being constantly promoted. Googling ‘Travel Blog’ brings up over 1.2 million hits, and these aren’t including many social media sites.

There is a constant barrage of advertisement for natural beauty spots, and national parks as this new aspect of holidaying takes off across the globe.

However, the impact this is having on the environmental balance of areas so used to being untouched is incomprehensible. Every year, 15.8 million people visit the Lake District alone in the UK.

That’s more than the population of London, according the the 2011 census.

It’s easy to see the draw of such places, but without the proper education National Parks are being swamped as they work to repair all the damage done.

Fix The Fells, a ranger and  volunteer run organisation dedicated to repairing damage done to footpaths, need to raise £500,000 a year just to continue the work they’re doing. They currently maintain 335 paths, covering 400 miles but say it is still not enough to keep the environment protected by these pathways safe.

Many groups are now trying to educate the public of the impact overcrowding has, and are pushing for an increased emphasis on individual responsibility. Mountaineering and Outdoor clubs across the country are taking their own members to task.

The question is, can enough be done in time?

Trainee Journalist at Teesside University

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