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The Countryside Code

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside. Most of it is just good commonsense, designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.

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The Code, which applies in England and Wales, makes it clear what the responsibilities are for both the public and the people who manage the land.

The Countryside Code started life in the 1950s as the Country Code. This version was launched in July 2004 and is taken from the Natural England website.

Note: The previous Countryside Access website,, has closed. The move to the Natural England website marks the beginning of a review period to ensure the Code is up to date and includes any new messages for the launch of the all England coast path.

Code for the public

5 sections of The Countryside Code are dedicated to helping members of the public respect, protect and enjoy the countryside:

  • Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs

  • Leave gates and property as you find them

  • Protect plants and animals and take your litter home

  • Keep dogs under close control

  • Consider other people

Code for land managers

3 sections of the Code are dedicated to land managers:

  • Know your rights, responsibilities and liabilities

  • Make it easy for visitors to act responsibly

  • Identify possible threats to visitor's safety


For more information on the The Countryside Code please click here