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Green Tips

Latvian nature is beautiful and diverse and it must be treated with care. Since ancient times, Latvians have had a respectful and awe-filled attitude towards nature, which is also reflected in folk songs: “I walked through a silver grove, And did not break a single branch.”

Only natural sandstone formation in Latvia.
  • Little hell
  • Photo: A. Dakuls
Sandstone cliffs on coasts of Gauja river near Cesis.
  • Erglu cliffs
More than hundred years old oak tree in Kaive.
  • Grat Kaive oak
  • Photo: Lauku ceļotājs

Here are some tips for treating the environment with care. In many places in Latvia the soil cover is fragile, especially over dunes and dry pine forests, or sili. Please avoid damaging it by riding bicycles over it as this will leave deep ruts that will not grow over for many years. Instead, use paths, lanes and specially designated places. If there is a ban on driving motor vehicles in the dune zone, please respect it. Also, motorcycles, ATBs and other motorised vehicles cause great harm to dunes, sandy beaches and pine forests. Please instead choose environmentally friendly means of getting around: trains, skis, bicycles, boats – that way you are closer to the nature while still protecting it. Please follow fire safety rules: no smoking in forests, build bonfires only on specially designated sites and follow fire safety rules.

For an overnight stay in a tent, please choose campsites specially equipped for tourists. Please avoid the use of disposable tableware, but if it is really impossible to do without it, please opt for wooden cutlery and paper cups instead of plastic items. Please leave waste in specially designated places only or take it with you to dispose of in the nearest litter bin. You should never leave behind open empty beer or soft drink bottles: the scent of the beverage attracts many rare and beautiful insects, turning containers into deadly traps for them.

Please do not collect plants and animals for collections, or pluck every beautiful flower – please enjoy by looking or by taking photographs instead. Wilderness is the home of wild animals: please do not disturb them during their mating, nesting or hibernation periods. Please do not create unnecessary noise pollution: if you cannot do without music, listen to it using earphones. Please enjoy the sounds of nature for a change, such as birdsong or the sough of wind in the trees.

When mushroom-picking, please use a knife to cut the mushrooms to avoid upsetting the mycelium. Please follow advice on how to behave in specially protected natural areas. When arriving at a nature reserve, please do your best not to trample it. Enough beautiful wilderness can be observed by following trails designated for tourists. If footbridges or paths have been set up in natural areas, they are not there merely for the convenience of tourists, but also as a means to minimise human impact on the environment and a way to allow future visitors to enjoy the pristine state of nature. Please use these pathways.

Please use the services of environmental guides: that way, you will both be able to see more interesting things in nature and receive useful conservation advice. Please use as many locally manufactured products as possible. Local food tastes better and is healthier, especially if grown on organic farms. Do not feed wild animals, do not touch birds’ nests and do not try to rescue animal and bird offspring found in the forest: their parents are usually waiting for humans to leave so that they can take care of their young themselves. Do not beat snakes: these peaceful creatures will happily get out of your way themselves. When walking along nature trails, in forests, meadows or fields, please keep in a single file to minimise the trampling of plants.

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