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New Code: New Countryside Code for landowners in England and Wales to help protect them, their land and livestock, and the environment

Author: Atom Content Marketing

Published: 01 May 2021

Landowners in England and Wales will welcome a new Countryside Code governing how visitors to their land should behave in order to enjoy their visit while keeping their impact on the countryside and those who live and work there to a minimum.

The overriding objectives of the statutory guidance ‘The Countryside Code: advice for countryside visitors’ are to enable visitors to enjoy the outdoors while respecting everyone and protecting both wild flora and fauna and working environments such as farms.

The Code includes recommendations relating to:

  • driving, parking, walking and/or cycling on country roads, pathways and public areas, and at the seaside;
  • obeying signage;
  • knowing when to shut gates or leave them open;
  • behaving properly in relation to farm animals, horses and wildlife;
  • control of pets;
  • barbecues, fires and litter, including dog faeces.

The Code also advises visitors how to plan trips to the country or seaside, including planning for tides and/or bad weather.

Landlords are recommended to make sure areas the public are entitled to visit are clearly signposted (to reduce the risk of inadvertent trespassing), easily accessible and kept tidy. The Code suggests they may wish to provide information generally, and in relation to specific land management activities they are undertaking. There are also recommendations about safety risks such as chemicals, electric fences and ‘volatile’ livestock.

Operative date

  • Now



This article from Atom Content Marketing is for general guidance only, for businesses in the United Kingdom governed by the laws of England. Atom Content Marketing, expert contributors and ICAEW (as distributor) disclaim all liability for any errors or omissions.

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Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.