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Respect, Protect, Enjoy - the Countryside Code

Responsible dog walking campaign Graeme Hall 053_77811

The Countryside Code contains advice for the public and landowners, making it easier for visitors to help respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors. Click on the links below to skip to a particular section:

With more people enjoying the outdoors than ever before, Natural England have refreshed the Countryside Code has been revised to help people enjoy the countryside in a safe and respectful way. Here's what you need to know:

Respect 

Please respect those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside. Be sure to be nice, say hello and share the space.

  • Make sure you keep to the footpaths to help protect crops and wildlife.
  • Leave gates and property as you find them.
  • Slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals and give them plenty of room.
  • Don’t block gateways, driveways or paths with your vehicle.
  • If you’re on your bike, give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways.
  • Keep away from machinery and farm animals.
  • If you’re worried about something, try to alert the farmer.
  • Although you might think you are being kind, feeding animals can cause them harm. Please do not feed livestock, horses or wild animals. 

Protect

We all have a responsibility to protect the countryside now and for future generations.

  • Litter and leftover food not only spoil the beauty of the countryside but can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals too. Please take your litter home.
  • Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property. Be careful with naked flames and cigarettes, and make sure they’re extinguished properly.
  • Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is, but did you know it can be very harmful to farm animals? Be a responsible dog owner - bag it, take it, bin it.  
  • Keep your dog on a short lead around farm animals. The only time you should release your dog is if you’re threatened or chased by cattle.
  • Take care with BBQs and do not light fires. Only use BBQs where signs state they are allowed, and always make sure they are put out and disposed of responsibly. 

Enjoy

British farmers are proud to enhance the British countryside. We can all do our bit to enjoy the countryside responsibly.

  • Plan your adventure in plenty of time by referring to up-to-date maps or guidebooks, and be aware of the weather forecast.
  • Make sure you give farm animals plenty of space as they can behave unpredictably.
  • Be safe - let a friend or family member know where you’re planning to go.
  • Enjoy your visit - have fun and make memories!

Top tips for enjoying the countryside

Help us share the Countryside Code messages on Twitter

Click on the thumbnail images to download versions you can share on your Twitter page.

Download our Countryside Code Twitter infographics

Countryside Code lambing season NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code keep to the footpath NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code litter can harm NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code dog waste NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code leave gates and property NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code gates and property NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code leave no trace NFU Twitter infographic

Countryside Code short lead NFU Twitter infographic

Help us share our infographics on Facebook and Instagram 

Click on the thumbnail images to download versions you can share on your Facebook or Instagram account.

Download our Countryside Code infographics for Facebook and Instagram

Countryside Code lambing season NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

Countryside Code keep to the footpath NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

Countryside Code litter can harm NFU Facebook and Instagram infographic

Countryside Code bag it and bin it NFU Facebook and Instagram infographic

Countryside Code gates and property NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

Countryside Code leave gates and property NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

Countryside Code leave no trace NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

Countryside Code short lead around sheep NFU Facebook Instagram infographic

We want you and your four-legged friend to enjoy the countryside safely and responsibly. Please watch and share to spread awareness.

Click the poster below to download our dog walking poster. Please share on social media or local notice boards. 

Responsible dog walking poster 2019_64617

How well do you know your signs?

Get to know the signs and symbols used in the countryside to show paths and open countryside. Next time you're out and about keep an eye out for the different colours and see if you can remember what they mean. 

Countryside code waymarker poster_74285

Coronavirus and the Countryside Code

You can now spend more time in the countryside. The government has produced this handy video to ensure you stay safe when enjoying outdoor spaces, act responsibly and respect the local environment, people and animals.



Related categories: Countryside Code Dogs

Last edited: 01 April 2021 at 09:13


Have your say

7 comments
William Chivers - 13/12/2020 14:34:00

I Really Truly Believe, British Farming still has further Potential... I also support British Farming in-between.

JAN JELLEY - 05/11/2020 22:11:12

Always buy British and support our farmers.

Andrew Gough - 29/08/2020 21:39:12

Please encourage your members to effectively secure there landed property & avoid litter and flytipping on private land by anti - social members of the public committing a criminal act.Also ensure that members are not l tempted to dump this rubbish on the public highway ( still happening) & also a criminal offence,particularly in the rural areas.Most local Authorities will assust landowners for a reasobable charge,please publicise this in your N.F.U branches.Thank you.

Pat Stephens - 14/06/2020 09:04:49

Always support British Farmers

Peter Brocksom - 19/05/2020 09:51:39

We always support British farming

Belinda Moore - 17/05/2020 19:18:53

I back sustainable British farming for great wholesome food!

Pauline Brierley - 15/09/2019 13:54:40

I back British farmers all the way.


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