New Respect Urged As We Return To Countryside

Cotswold nature lovers are being urged to treat the countryside with a new respect as they venture into the  great outdoors once again.

As lockdown eases, a newly-refreshed Countryside Code has been launched by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the code’s creation.

With more people enjoying the outdoors than ever before, the code has been revised to help people enjoy the countryside in a safe and respectful way.

The first Countryside Code booklet was published in 1951 and this update is the first in over a decade.

It has been shaped by a “huge response” to an online survey which sought views on best practices for visiting the countryside and protecting the natural environment.

Changes include clearer rules to underline the importance of clearing away dog poo, staying on footpaths and not feeding livestock.

It also provides advice on how to seek permissions for activities such as wild swimming.

Natural England chair Tony Juniper said, “The Countryside Code has been providing an excellent guide for people on how to get out and enjoy the outdoors safely for over 70 years.

“With more people than ever before seeking solace in nature, this refresh could not come at a more crucial time.

“We want everyone to be aware of the code so people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy the invaluable  health and wellbeing benefits that nature offers, while giving it the respect it deserves.”

The updated Countryside Code can be viewed here.