There was fury across the county when it was revealed that a group of campers had left a trail of trash – including five tents, blow-up mattresses and human waste – when they left their camping spot at Thirlmere.
Volunteers and rangers collected 13 bags of rubbish from the site and condemnation of the group’s actions was widespread.
Jason Johnstone, an army veteran, has been wild camping for several years.
Jason, of Denton Holme in Carlisle, said he was appalled at the mess and the destruction to the habitat – but these people were not wild campers.
He said: “”I am seething at the knowledge that these filthy individuals, visitors to the county and not local, are being labelled ‘wild campers’ and that they will also spoil the future and use of such beautiful and precious places for the real wild campers whom live by an ethos of code and respect.
“I do enjoy wild camping and bush-crafting in its only form and follow the guidelines and respect the environment with the key point being leave no trace.
“This is the only form of wild camping there is and for those who do have that connection with nature we follow this ethos.
“I even got to the extent of living under camouflage or military tarps, lightweight and low footprint and far from the destruction that these ‘out of county anti-social campers’ have brought to our county.
“I agree these inconsiderate members of the public, who lack the knowledge and respect for the national park and its precious habitats and environment, need to understand and learn the basic countryside code and general outdoors etiquette that responsible people follow so as not to spoil such places of beauty for others.
“Due to the COVID-19 situation we have avoided the Lake District National Park so not to add pressure to what is a terrible situation.
“We are from Cumbria and we are forfeiting our enjoyment and use of the local wildscape, just to allow the visitors room to mess it up for us.”
He has challenged people in the past who have been camping in the Lake District.
“In Riggindale Wood at Haweswater, we saw and smelt smoke and tracked it to where a large group were camping.
“We challenged them and firmly stated that there are no fires allowed in the national park, because they are a hazard and destroying trees to use the limbs for firewood and generally wrecking the environment was going to ruin it for everyone else in future.
“They were very sheepish after the final note was left that if the park wardens or police see this you will be fined.”
“True wild campers and outdoor veterans have been left reeling to be tarred with the same brush as these anti-social and unthinking people who left a trail of destruction.
“Please do not call them wild campers. They are not.”