Savills plc

04/01/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/01/2021 10:09

Considerate by nature: tips on countryside etiquette

Warmer weather and the easing of lockdown restrictions are likely to bring visitors out into the countryside again this spring.

For many this will be a welcome breath of fresh air but, as we saw in 2020, careless or ill-informed walkers and picnickers can spell problems for wildlife, livestock and the landscape - not to mention other people.

Last year there were reports from countryside to coast of habitat disturbances, trails of litter and abandoned rubbish. Durdle Door in Dorset made the headlines with images of discarded waste strewn across the landmark beach.

The countryside is a working environment and as such carries potential risk - from cattle to farm machinery. Farmers and landowners should warn visitors of any foreseeable dangers and visitors have their part to play in protecting the scenery they've come out to enjoy.

For a refresher on the dos and don'ts, take a look at the Countryside Code for England and Wales or the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. In the meantime here are some basic pointers to help anyone who's unsure, stick to the right path:

  • Leave as you find Take rubbish away with you; it can be harmful to wildlife and livestock as well as being unsightly. Bag and bin dog poo. Close gates behind you if they are shut when you get there, but leave them open if that's how they were - it may be to allow animals to access water

  • Keep dogs under control This is always important but especially so when livestock have young with them. If you are chased by livestock, let your dog go - it should be able to run away safely and is probably what spooked the animal in the first place

  • Don't be tempted to approach or stroke farm animals They can become overwhelming and potentially dangerous

  • Stick to foot paths and marked rights of way And don't park in gateways as that could block access to a field in which a farmer needs to work. Remember farming activity can take place at all hours, every day of the week

  • Don't light fires or barbeques not only can they scorch the ground, they are also a fire risk.

Enjoying the sights and sounds of the countryside in spring is one of life's great pleasures - perhaps more so now than ever as lockdown begins to ease.

Further information

Contact Sarah Roué

Contact Savills Rural