New look Countryside Code

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NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts

Engaging with the public to help them make the right choices when they are out and about in the countryside has never been more important. NFU Deputy President Stuart Roberts explains what we've been doing and shows how we're supporting the refresh of the Countryside Code. 

The NFU made several recommendations for changes to the Countryside Code, which were adopted when Natural England launched its refreshed advice in April 2021.

If you want to see details of the changes requested by the NFU and adopted by Natural England read our NFU briefing: Countryside Code launch April 2021.

The NFU has been working closely with Defra and Natural England on a refresh of the messaging in the Code to bring it up to date and to help address the recent increase in access-related issues such as keeping to public rights of way, ensuring dogs are under control and dog waste is binned.

It’s important that people follow the simple rules and respect the countryside around them.

The NFU has been working closely with Defra and Natural England on a refresh of the messaging in the Code to bring it up to date and to help address the recent increase in access-related issues such as keeping to public rights of way, ensuring dogs are under control and dog waste is binned.

We are pleased that many of our recommendations have been included.

Benefitting the public

The iconic British countryside offers a multitude of benefits to the public, including exercise and recreation, the opportunity to learn about where our food comes from and how our stunning landscapes are maintained.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the countryside has been invaluable in Britain’s recovery, with millions of people visiting during lockdown to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

Changes should benefit farmers and the public

As we highlight in the NFU’s recent Levelling up rural Britain report, it is important that rural access and engagement is recognised and respected and that the modern-day rights of way network benefits both farmers and the public.

Shaping our landscape

The NFU, government and other stakeholders will be promoting the new look Code and its core messages to ensure everyone who visits the countryside is provided with greater awareness of the need to keep safe and responsible as well as the role farming plays in shaping our much-loved working landscapes.

Social media resources to share

We have social media resources to help get the word out. Take a look at our Free Countryside Code resources and share them with your family and friends.

Watch and share on social media our Graeme Hall videos for dog owners

Keep yourself safe when walking near cows

Sheep worrying: Take the lead

Read more on NFUonline

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