Do you know your Highway Code? If you’re a driver then of course you do. You would have studied and answered questions on it as part of your driving test. Now, do you know your Countryside Code? Wait the what now?!
Following the 2020 pandemic most of us have looked at safe ways to get outdoors. This has resulted in a huge increase in staycations, weekend breaks and days out closer to home, often in the countryside. With this in mind, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the UK Government have this year published The Countryside Code Update 2021. Not only to help keep people safe but also to remind us how we can enjoy the countryside without causing damage or problems to nature and the wildlife we love to see.
What is the Countryside Code
The first Countryside Code booklet was published in 1951. This Countryside Code update 2021 – the first in over a decade – has been shaped by nearly 4,000 stakeholder responses to an online survey, which sought views on best practices for visiting the countryside and protecting the natural environment and saw a huge response.
What are the key changes this year
Key changes to the Countryside Code this year include:
- New wording to make clear that the code applies to all our natural places, including parks and waterways, coast and countryside.
- To stay on marked footpaths, even if they are muddy, to protect crops and wildlife.
- A reminder not to feed livestock, horses or wild animals.
- Information on permissions to do certain outdoor activities, such as wild swimming.
- Clearer rules for dog walkers to take home dog poo and use their own bin if a there are no public waste bins.
- New advice for people to ‘be nice, say hello, share the space’ as well as ‘enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory’.
Where can I find the Countryside Code
The full Countryside Code and supporting documents can be viewed online at:
- The Countryside Code For Visitors
- PDF Summary of The Countryside Code – downloadable
- The Countryside Code advice for land managers
Here at Touring Tales we love to travel and explore so we want to be ambassadors of The Countryside Code by promoting it wherever and whenever possible. We all love a day out in the country, visiting beautiful green spaces and spotting wildlife. So please, let’s all do our bit by picking up after our dogs, taking home our picnic litter and leave no trace that we were ever there.
Related: For Motorhome & Campervan owners, if you’re on Facebook then check out the group Motorhome & Campers Against Litter. We are members and always do our bit plus a bit extra (picking up other litter) when we tour.
Happy travelling and exploring
Miche & Dave xxx
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