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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:

1. Be safe, plan 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

 

2. Leave gates and property as you find them​

  • 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

  • Farmers may leave gates open to allow their animals to move - so leave an open gate open, and a closed gate closed

 

3. 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.

 

4. Keep dogs under close control​

  • 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

  • By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife

 

5. 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