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  • Writer's pictureLottie Parish

Respect, Protect, Enjoy - the Countryside Code

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:

With more people enjoying the outdoors than ever before, Natural England has refreshed the Countryside Code to help people enjoy the countryside in a safe and respectful way. Here's what you need to know:


Please respect those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside. Be sure to be nice, say hello and share the space.

  • Make sure you keep to the footpaths to help protect crops and wildlife.

  • 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.

  • Although you might think you are being kind, feeding animals can cause them harm. Please do not feed livestock, horses or wild animals. 


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.

  • Take care with BBQs and do not light fires. Only use BBQs where signs state they are allowed, and always make sure they are put out and disposed of responsibly. 


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

  • Plan your adventure in plenty of time by referring to up-to-date maps or guidebooks, and be aware of the weather forecast.

  • 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.

  • Enjoy your visit - have fun and make memories!

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