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The Countryside Code

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The Countryside Code

  • Respect and protect wildlife, plants, trees and other people

    All life we know depends on each other for survival; enjoy your place in nature and think about your effect on other living things.

  • Plan ahead to be safe and prepared

    Look up the weather forecast and pack what you might need for your trip; water, map, mobile phone, first aid kit etc…

  • Guard against any risk of fire

    Every summer unnecessary fires devastate life in affected areas. Take extra care to ensure cigarettes, matches and fires are completely extinguished. And do not leave glass where the sun will catch it.

  • Take your litter home

    Leave the countryside as you found it. Litter including bags, fishing line etc is not only unsightly, it can injure and kill wildlife, and unbalance delicate ecosystems.

  • Leave property as you find it

    Leave gates as you find them. Stick to paths on farmland and if you find an obstruction walk around it generally sticking to the edge of fields. Crops are valuable and fences costly to repair. Find out where you have the right to roam.

  • Keep dogs under proper control

    The friendly household pet can be a killer in the countryside. Did you know that every year thousands of sheep are killed either directly, by disease or by worry caused by dogs not kept under appropriate control.

  • Keep natural water and ecosystems clean

    As well as being water supplies for local people, streams are the home of much life. Do not pollute them with litter or waste.

Other points to remember include such things as washing hands. If you wash then make sure you are using products that will not damage the environment, or dispose of such waste elsewhere. Ecover and many other companies make a number of such products that are biodegradeable and cause minimal impact on the environment. The ecosystems of streams, rivers and environmentally sensitive areas are very delicate.

The Countryside Code for Land Owners

  • Know your rights, responsibilities and liabilities.

  • Make it easy for visitors to act responsibly.

  • Identify possible threats to visitor’s safety.

Useful Websites

The Countryside Code – GOV.UK
Responsibilities for visitors to the countryside and those who manage the land.

Scottish Outdoor Access Code
This is the place to find out more about everyone’s access rights and responsibilities in Scotland’s outdoors.

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