AN appeal was made yesterday to the 10 million visitors to country parks not to drop their litter after it was revealed 3,500 tonnes of rubbish were collected last year. 'It would make a great difference if all country park visitors are more considerate and show care for our countryside environment,' said Planning, Environment and Lands Secretary Bowen Leung Po-wing. Launching the latest Clean and Green Scheme, he said country parks had become important areas for recreation and relaxation. Education and campaigns had reduced the number of hill fires from 208, 10 years ago, to 96 in 1994-95. But 3,500 tonnes of litter, which was unhygienic and degraded parks, was left behind by visitors last year. 'Collection and disposal of dispersed litter in the vast country parks require enormous manpower resources which could otherwise be deployed for better uses such as developing new country park facilities,' said Mr Leung. The Clean and Green Scheme, launched in 1982, is an annual event encouraging the public to look after the parks. It will include a fun day in May, a guided walk, clean-up campaigns, a quiz and a contest to design gifts from waste material.