With more visitors than ever flocking to Luxembourg's scenic forests and lakes, here's a quick reminder to stay safe and take care of the environment around you.
Following recent forest fire reports, exacerbated by hot, dry weather, we looked at ways to enjoy nature without causing lasting damage. The Grand Duchy has over 90,000 hectares of forest - here's how to keep them safe.
DO extinguish any camp fires properly when you are finished with them. A fire broke out recently in Lorentzweiler after campers believed they had put the campfire out, only for it to reignite some hours later. To be completely safe, put the fire out with water (in sections if necessary), then rake through the ashes to check for any remaining embers. Once you have done so, pour more water on the ashes, and check what is left with the palms of your hands to ensure you cannot feel anymore heat.
DON'T ever leave a campfire or fire pit unattended.
DO check the surrounding area for errant branches or kindling before lighting a fire. It's best to tidy the area completely to prevent the fire from potential spread.
DON'T throw away cigarette butts without double-checking they are properly extinguished. Lit cigarettes are one of the primary causes of wildfires, particularly in very dry conditions. In fact, don't throw them out at all - be a decent human and take them with you, and put them in a bin where appropriate.
DO observe local advice and regulations, for example, regarding parking, access, hiking trails and so on. Be mindful of those around you, particularly if you're starting your trek in a residential area. Local residents around Upper Sûre Lake have recently experienced difficulties from the high number of visitors parking at random locations.
DON'T disturb natural habitats - try to stick to the trails where possible and avoid making excessive noise or using motorised vehicles in the forest.
DO clear up after yourself. Take bin bags with you to clean up any litter and dispose of it properly. DON'T throw anything flammable away in public rubbish bins - the CGDIS reports contain a high number of waste fires on a weekly basis, as we at RTL Today can attest to.
DO report anything out of the ordinary as soon as possible. If you come across an unattended fire on your hikes, let the emergency services know straight away - even the smallest flame can cause a whole lot of damage, particularly in the summer months.
In general, DO take Michael Scott an Dwight Schrute's (the US Office) excellent advice, and think to yourself "Would an idiot do that? And if they would, I do not do that thing."