Countryside Code

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The Countryside Code started life in the 1950’s as the Country Code. The new version was launched in 2004 and updated in 2012.

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the Countryside.  Most of it is just common sense and is designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy the countryside. For more details go to the Natural England website under the Websites tab above.


Countryside Code - Advice for the public

Respect other people

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors

  • Plan and be prepared
  • Follow advice and local signs

Countryside Code - Advice for land managers

For farmers and landowners the countryside is more than just a pretty landscape and the Countryside Code asks that visitors respect and protect the countryside as a workplace and haven for wildlife.

Know your rights, responsibilities and liabilities

People visiting the countryside provide important income for the local economy. Most like to follow a visible route, prefer using proper access points like gates, and generally want to do the right thing - but they need your help.

Make it easy for visitors to act responsibly

Most people who visit the countryside are keen to act responsibly and trespassing is often unintentional.  There are a number of ways you can help them be responsible (see advice on the Countryside Code website under the websites tab above).

Identify possible threats to visitors’ safety

People come to the countryside simply to enjoy themselves safely.  Land managers have a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Acts of 1957 and 1984 to make sure that they can pass through land safely.

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Last updated: 12 May 2015

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