Natural England launches refreshed Countryside Code

Visitors urged to Respect, Protect and Enjoy the outdoors while visiting the countryside

Following a long-awaited consultation, a refreshed Countryside Code has been launched by Natural England.

An overhaul of the 70-year-old Code, which provides advice to visitors about how to enjoy a visit to the countryside safely and responsibly under its headings: Respect, Protect, Enjoy, was made to ensure it’s more engaging with the public following an increase of visitors to the countryside since Covid-19 struck. 

It is hoped that, over the Easter period, those heading to rural areas for walks and picnics adhere to the Code.

Mark Bridgeman, CLA President, said:

“The countryside has seen an increase in visitors since the pandemic began over a year ago – and that’s great to see. Everyone is welcome.

“With more people expected to explore rural areas over Easter it’s imperative that the Code is well-read, respected and followed. Although there has not been significant changes to the Code, the messaging is clear – Respect, Protect and Enjoy the outdoors. By closing gates behind you and sticking to footpaths, to keeping your dog under control and picking up rubbish, there is no reason why we cannot work together to keep the countryside beautiful for everyone to enjoy.

“The countryside is, of course, a place of work where the land, livestock, machinery, wildlife and environment must be respected – and a greater understanding of this in the long-term will benefit both farmers and walkers.” 

Read the updated Countryside Code here.