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The Countryside Code

  • Be safe-plan ahead and follow any signs Keep track of weather, tides, breeding seasons, harvesting, military activities or building works that might have an impact on your safety and the safety of others.

  • Leave gates and property as you find them Usually field gates are closed to keep animals in. But sometimes farmers leave them open to allow livestock access to water and feed.

  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home And it's not just litter; don't pick plants, move rocks or fallen trees, disturb nests. All of them can be animal habitats or may shelter important wild plants.

  • Keep dogs under close control That means, on a leash around farm animals and on open land and common areas during the breeding season - March 1 to July 31. Dogs can run loose on public footpaths as long as they are obedient. Just remember, farmers have the legal right to destroy a dog that injures - or even bothers - livestock.

  • Consider other people This last, catch all element includes everything from slowing down for horses, pedestrians and cyclists to buying supplies in local shops to support rural economies.

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