Respect, Protect, Enjoy - the Countryside Code

Dog walker female Labrador on leaD_76666

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:

Coronavirus and the Countryside Code | Respect | Protect | Enjoy | Top tips for dog owners | How well do you know your signs

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.


Please respect the local community and other people when enjoying the outdoors.

  • Make sure you keep to the footpaths.
  • 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.


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.

Bag it Bin it_53013


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

  • Plan ahead by referring to up-to-date maps or guidebooks. 
  • 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.

Top tips for enjoying the countryside with your dog

  • Keep your dog under control and on a short lead around cows and sheep.  
  • Clean up after your dog.

We want you and your four-legged friend to enjoy the countryside safely and responsibly. 

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

Related categories: Countryside Code Dogs

Last edited: 10 February 2021 at 08:44

Have your say

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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