The Countryside Code is a set of rules created in 2004 as a revision of the original Country Code set up in the 1930s.
Below are some of the rules, as pertaining to Horncastle Walkers, but the full leaflet can be download from the link at the bottom of the page in PDF format.
Please respect the local community and other people using the outdoors. Remember your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
- Respect the needs of local people and visitors alike.
- Co-operate with people at work in the countryside. For example, keep out of the way when farm animals are being gathered or moved and follow directions from the farmer.
- Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available
- A farmer will normally close gates to keep farm animals in, but may sometimes leave them open so the animals can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs. When in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates.
- Follow paths unless wider access is available, such as on open country or registered common land (known as ‘Open Access land’).
- If you think a sign is illegal or misleading such as a ‘Private – No Entry’ sign on a public path, contact the local authority.
- Leave machinery and farm animals alone – don’t interfere with animals even if you think they’re in distress. Try to alert the farmer instead.
- Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries if you can – climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.
- Our heritage matters to all of us – be careful not to disturb ruins and historic sites.
- Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home.
- Protecting the natural environment means taking special care not to damage, destroy or remove features such as rocks, plants and trees. They provide homes and food for wildlife, and add to everybody’s enjoyment of the countryside.
- Litter and leftover food doesn’t just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals – so take your litter home with you. Dropping litter and dumping rubbish are criminal offences.
- Fires can be as devastating to wildlife and habitats as they are to people and property – so be careful with naked flames and cigarettes at any time of the year. Sometimes, controlled fires are used to manage vegetation, particularly on heaths and moors between 1st October and 15th April, but if a fire appears to be unattended then report it by calling 999.
- Plan ahead and be prepared. You’ll get more from your visit if you refer to upto-date maps or guidebooks and websites before you go. Visit www.gov.uk/natural-england or contact local information centres or libraries for a list of outdoor recreation groups offering advice on specialist activities.
- You’re responsible for your own safety and for others in your care – especially children – so be prepared for natural hazards, changes in weather and other events. Wild animals, farm animals and horses can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they’re with their young – so give them plenty of space.
- Check weather forecasts before you leave. Conditions can change rapidly especially on mountains and along the coast, so don’t be afraid to turn back. When visiting the coast check for tide times at www.ukho.gov.uk/easytide, don’t risk getting cut off by rising tides and take care on slippery rocks and sea-weed.
- Part of the appeal of the countryside is that you can get away from it all. You may not see anyone for hours, and there are many places without clear mobile phone signals, so let someone else know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
- Follow advice and local signs. England has about 190,000 km (118,000 miles) of public rights of way, providing many opportunities to enjoy the natural environment. Get to know the signs and symbols used in the countryside to show paths and open countryside.