If you take countryside walks, follow the Countryside Code. This 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 have outdoor BBQs. Do not disturb wildlife or nesting birds, nor 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).