The arrival of the Easter holiday weekend will give many families the chance to explore the great outdoors.
For some it will be the ideal opportunity to enjoy our wonderful natural environment regardless of the weather – and while observing the stay local restrictions now in place.
But those planning to do exactly that are being urged to leave it as they find it!
All too often, some folk don’t observe the rules and show respect to Scotland’s beautiful countryside.
Now Finlay Carson, MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, is urging people to enjoy the countryside - but do so responsibly.
The Scottish Conservatives shadow rural affairs minister said: “I appreciate that a lot of people will be wanting to take advantage of the time off this weekend and many will be spending their free time out walking in the countryside.
“All I would ask, however, is that they leave it as they found it. Please observe the rules and always take any rubbish home with you and not left dumped outside.
“The message is simple – enjoy our rural areas but remember to do so responsibly and respectfully.”
The local MSP reiterated the message from many farmers in the area to take extra care especially with many lambs and calves arriving.
He said: “There has already been an alarmingly high number of dog attacks on pregnant sheep in the south of Scotland in recent weeks. I would urge anyone taking their dog out to do so responsibly and where possible keep them on the lead.”
Sarah Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land and Estates, which represents farms, managers and businesses, has also urged people to tidy up and take care around animals.
She said: “The last year has seen a huge increase in anti-social behaviour and that has come at a significant cost to rural communities and businesses that have had to clean up after inconsiderate visitors.
“Getting out in the fresh air is great for all of us, especially for our mental and physical well-being.
“Rural Scotland will be welcoming to visitors and access takers – we just ask the public to be mindful to take care in the countryside over the Easter period and in the months that lie ahead.”