Countryside Code

The countryside code is a useful guide which allows us all to use the countryside safely.  There is some basic advice which we ask all visitors to the countryside to respect. Return to the Planning Your Visit Page.


  • Do not enter woodlands in windy weather - there is always the risk of falling limbs, even from healthy trees.
  • Do not go near the edge of cliffs, they can be unstable and rock falls cannot always be predicted.
  • Keep your dog on a lead, for the sake of livestock and for our native wildlife; ground nesting birds and mammals can be impacted by dogs who are not under the control of their owners.
  • Clean up after your dog and please do not hang the bag in a tree or hedge!
  • Leave gates as you find them, occasionally a farmer may leave a gate open in order that stock can access food and water.
  • Leave any machinery where you find it, do not touch or move it.
  • Do not pick wild plants, our native plant life has struggled and one way we can keep it safe is by enjoying it in its natural environment.
  • Take your litter home with you and recycle, compost and dispose of properly. Litter can be dangerous to wildlife, it is not just unsightly.
  • Check weather forecasts and if the weather is looking bad plan your trip for another day.
  • Take note of signs when out in the countryside, occasionally paths may be temporarily closed due to work which may cause a risk, please respect these and seek out alternative routes.
  • If you think a sign is misleading (e.g. a public footpath has a private no entry sign, then notify the local authority)
  • Do not approach wild or domestic animals, they can behave unpredictably.
  • If you find a baby bird or mammal, leave it where it is, there is a significant chance their parents are close by watching you.
  • Fires can be devastating to wildlife, however occasionally you will get controlled burns to improve habitats, do check that a fire is not being supervised before calling 999.