It is disturbing that a wave of littering and trespassing has been reported in the Lake District during the past few weeks.

Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has asked the Government to step up its efforts to combat anti-social behaviour in the national park.

The MP told Parliament that each weekend police and rangers were reporting a minority of visitors abusing them and locals, and being guilty of littering, vandalism and ‘complete disregard’ for the welfare of wildlife and livestock.

Meanwhile, mysteriously, piles of fruit skins are being regularly left to rot in and around Underbarrow and woodland near Brigsteer. Underbarrow Women’s Institute is continuing to litter pick to try to combat the problem.

Leaving litter in the Lake District not only spoils the look and feel of the area but it can also have a damaging effect on wildlife.

And, of course, there is also the increased risk of coronavirus infection from people having to pick it up and dispose of it.

As for the abuse suffered by officials, it is unforgivable. People might be feeling more stressed than usual during this difficult time, but there is no excuse for taking it out on police and rangers.

Poet John Donne said ‘No man is an island’, indicating that no one is self-sufficient; everyone relies on others. And as many have had to self-isolate, as if on an island, in recent months, it has become clear just how much we all need each other. Donne’s words can also be used to highlight how one person’s actions can easily have an effect – both positive and negative - on someone else.

We have seen many examples of people caring and looking after each other during the pandemic, such as those who have done shopping for shielding neighbours or who have simply rung them up every now and then to check on their welfare.

But if people are selfish – leaving their litter strewn around the countryside, abusing officials and so on – that can have a hugely negative effect on other people.

Mr Farron has urged people to set a good example and follow the Countryside Code, such as taking litter home, parking responsibly and closing farm gates.

He is right. All should follow the code and behave. There are enough difficulties at the moment.