Explore responsibly - A guide to sustainable hiking in East Devon

Take a hike! East Devon is one of the best places in the UK to enjoy walks. With its mix of dramatic coastal paths, varied countryside habitats and riverside trails it is the perfect place to get back to nature and experience our exceptional natural environment

Ensure that your journey leaves nothing but footprints and all you take away are memories with our sustainable guide:

Tread Lightly:

Stick to designated trails to minimise your impact on delicate ecosystems. Avoid disturbing wildlife and nesting areas; observe from a respectful distance. Straying off marked trails can lead to soil erosion and harm to plant life. Stay on the path to preserve the natural beauty of the area. You can access maps and itineraries here or the East Devon Way.

Leave No Trace:

Pack it in, pack it out. Ensure you carry out all your waste, including food wrappers and biodegradable items. Dispose of waste responsibly at designated bins and preferably recycle or take it home with you.

Respect Wildlife:

Observe wildlife from a distance and resist the urge to feed them. Human food can harm their health and alter natural behaviours. Keep your dogs on a lead to protect both wildlife and other hikers. Always remember to close gates behind you to keep livestock secure and for the safety of others. Tread carefully and keep your eyes peeled and you will be amazed at what you find amongst the flora, fauna and fungi.

Sustainable Snacking:

Choose reusable containers for your snacks and bring a refillable water bottle. Support local businesses by purchasing snacks and supplies from nearby shops. There are also always plenty of delicious offerings made from local produce to tempt you!

Camp Responsibly:

If camping is part of your adventure, use established campsites and follow the Leave No Trace camping principles. Be mindful of noise levels, allowing others and local wildlife to enjoy the tranquillity.

Learn and Educate:

There’s so much to see in the area and lots to be aware of, so familiarise yourself with the local flora and fauna before you go to ensure you are respecting the biodiversity. You could even share your knowledge with fellow hikers to promote responsible hiking practices. 

Support Conservation:

You can contribute to the area’s conservation efforts through donations or by volunteering for local organisations. Stay informed about local initiatives here.

Weather-Wise Hiking:

Check weather forecasts before your hike and be prepared for changing conditions.

Respect trail closures during adverse weather to prevent damage to both trails and ecosystems.

Travel Sustainably:

Consider eco-friendly transportation options when getting to and from the trailhead.

Car-share or use public transportation to reduce your carbon footprint.

Fire Safety First:

Remember to not light open fires or barbecues in the countryside, which can cause a fire risk long after they appear to have gone out, and make sure that cigarette butts are put out properly and disposed of in the appropriate bin.

Let's make every step count. By adopting these responsible hiking practices, you become a steward of East Devon's natural wonders, ensuring they remain beautiful for generations to come.

Happy trails, responsible hiker! 🌲🥾

Plan your eco-friendly break