Please take care to respect and protect the outdoors as well as enjoy it.
Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs:
- Get up-to-date information of the area
- Be prepared for changes in weather and other events
- Check weather conditions before you leave, and don't be afraid to turn back
- Get to know the signs and symbols used in the countryside
Leave gates and property as you find them:
- Leave gates as you find them
- If you think a sign is illegal or misleading such as a 'Private No Entry' sign on a public footpath, contact us
- In fields where crops are growing, follow the paths wherever possible. Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries rather than climbing over walls, hedges and fences
- Be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites
- Leave machinery and livestock alone
Care for the environment:
- Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
- Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats (cigarettes can cause fire)
- Litter and leftover food spoil the countryside and can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals
- Discover the beauty of the natural environment and take special care not to damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees
- Do not get too close to wild and farm animals especially if they are with young
Keep dogs under close control:
- By law, you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife
- Keep your dogs on short lead (no more than 2 metres long) on most open country areas and common land between 1 March and 31 July and all year round near farm animals
- Keep your dogs under close control on the public paths especially in the field where there are animals.
- There is no definition of 'close control', it generally mean that a dog responds to commands and is kept close at heel. If your dog wanders off out of sight and doesn't come back when called, then it should be walked on a lead.
- If farm animals attack you, let the dog go
- Take particular care during lambing season and nesting seasons for ground birds
- Clean up after your dog and dispute of the mess responsibly
- At certain times, dogs may not be allowed or need to be on a lead on some areas of access land. Phone the Open Access Contact Centre on 0845 100 3298 for more information.
Consider other people:
- Leave your vehicle at home where possible. Share lifts and use public transport or cycle. For public transport information, phone Traveline on 0871 2002233
- Respect the needs of local people, don't block gateways or driveways with your vehicle
- Keep out of the way when farm animals are being gathered or moved and follow directions from the farmer
- When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down for horses, walkers and livestock and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse-riders on bridleways
- Support the rural economy eg buy your supplies from local shops