If you like take countryside walks, always follow the Countryside Code. This mostly uses common sense to keep yourself and dogs safe near wildlife and livestock (and keep them safe from dogs). In summary;
- Follow local signs, and keep to marked paths. Leave gates & property as you find them and do not block access.
- Follow farmer advice if animals are being moved. Do not touch or feed horses or livestock. Call a farmer or RSPCA if you see creatures in distress. Do not touch farm machinery.
- Do not light fires and only have BBQs where allowed. Do not disturb wildlife or nesting birds. Do not disturb ruins or historic sites.
- Keep dogs under control and in sight, and pick up the poop. Put dogs on leads on Open Access land (a legal requirement between 1 March and 31 July). This is for your dog’s safety too, as farmers can legally shoot dogs that worry sheep.
- Report any concerns to your local tourism information centre
Check weather forecasts before you begin (conditions can change quickly – turn back if need be). Take care on hills and slippery paths (wear non-slip walking shoes). Wear warm visible waterproof and take a flask with hot tea! Learn to read a map and compass!
Don’t judge farmers, many have financial needs (Farming Community Help can help with free food for livestock and other goods).