The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code

The Country Code is a standard set of guidelines for members of the public, to ensure respect and enjoyment in the countryside.

The five points of the Countryside Code are:

Be safe, planĀ ahead and follow any signs

Take maps/guidebooks
Be prepared for changes in weather
Check the weather so you know what to expect
Let someone know where you are going, how long you plan to be
Learn signs and symbols used in the countryside

Leave gates and property as you find them

Farmers may leave gates open to allow their animals to move – so leave an open gate open, and a closed gate closed
Contact the local authority if you see a sign which may be misleading or illegal (e.g. Private, no entry – on a public footpath)
Follow paths where crops are growing
Use gates or stiles if possible, rather than climbing walls or fences, to avoid damage
Don’t disturb ruins or historic sites
Don’t interfere with machinery or livestock

Protect plants and animals and take your litter home

Litter and leftover food spoils the beauty of the countryside
Don’t damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees
Give wild animals and farm animals plenty of space as they can behave unpredictably
Be careful not to drop matches or smouldering cigarettes.

Keep dogs under close control

By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife
Farmers are, by law, entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals
Always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly

Consider other people

Respect the needs of local people
When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room
By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways
Support the rural economy – for example, buy your supplies from local shops

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