Countryside Code – stick to the rules so everyone can enjoy the Great Outdoors
Follow the Countryside Code for a great Staycation
It may sound like an archaic set of rules handed down through the generations by wizened old country folk, but the Countryside Code is actually a modern and regularly updated set of well thought out rules and guidance that ensures everyone can enjoy the countryside and help continue the work of farmers, conservationists and environmentalists.
Updated as recently as April 2021, its main ethos is respect – respect the people around you, respect the environment and respect the fact that some people earn their livelihoods in the countryside.
Landowners may have an obligation to keep paths and rights of way up to par, but we, as walkers, cyclists, dog owners and horse riders have an obligation to respect the fact we are enjoying ourselves on someone’s land, land that has earned them and their ancestors a living.
Many more of us will be holidaying at home this year so it’s more important than ever to bear in mind that your actions can have long-lasting effects on the environment and livelihoods of those who live and work in rural areas so take care when out in the countryside and respect those around you and environment in which you are enjoying yourself.
Here are few of the Countryside Code’s easy-to-remember points to help you enjoy the coast and country this holiday season:
- Respect those around you, whether fellow tourists or residents
- Parking may be hard to find, but don’t block driveways or entrances to farms or fields. Leave space for emergency vehicles to pass
- Close gates after you and leave property as you find it
- Don’t leave anything behind – that includes rubbish, food, equipment
- Drive carefully on rural roads – drive slower than you would normally
- If driving, slow down for horses, cyclist and pedestrians – always give them plenty of room when passing
- Cyclists must give way to horse riders and walkers on bridleways
- Stick to the marked paths
- Use stiles, gates or gaps in boundary walls and fences – climbing over walls and fences can cause damage and endanger livestock
- Keep dogs under control and clean up after them
- When going to the coast, check tide times, wave heights, local rips and currents before you go
- If walking or climbing in the hills and mountains, check the weather beforehand and make sure you have the correct clothing for the conditions
- Find out where you can walk, camp or swim legally – get to know the symbols used in the countryside and in rural coastal areas. Check out the Open Access website for restrictions, maps and information on areas in England. For access in Scotland, click here