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The Countryside Code Featured

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Do You Know The Countryside Code?


The Countryside Code (available in full on the Natural England website: www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/enjoying/countrysidecode/default.aspx) is quite basic and underpinned by the ethos of responsibility, existing to help us all enjoy the countryside and protect farmland and the wildlife whose habitats we share.  It includes sensible guidelines such as:


  • Leave gates as you find them
  • Don't disturb animals
  • Access rights in open country and common lands require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1st March and 31st July every year to protect ground nesting wildlife
  • Clean up after your dog
  • Respect other walkers


Always Stay on Highways and Footpaths


Devon County Council can tell you where all the public footpaths and Open Access/Common Lands in Devon are!  Visit www.devon.gov.uk/public_rights_of_way – the link "My Local Paths" will take you to an interactive map that shows you the public footpaths in any area of Devon.  Cranbrook has not yet been registered on the map, but you can contact East Devon District Council Cranbrook Country Park Ranger, Emma Jones (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), with any questions about footpaths and public access within Cranbrook.


Neighbouring parishes are happy to have responsible walkers and dog-walkers sharing their roads, lanes and parks.  Please stay on roads or marked footpaths; public rights of way can be found on the Devon County Council website (above).  They are clearly marked near their entrance with a green "Public Footpath" signpost bearing the Devon County Council symbol.  Entering a field that is not marked as a public right of way is trespassing – the field is private property and if you have not been given permission by the landowner to walk there, you should not even enter the field.


Farmers are allowed to keep livestock in fields that contain a public right of way as long as the animals are not aggressive.  If a bull is in such a field there should be a sign on all gates/stiles to warn you before you enter the field.  If you are concerned about the behaviour of livestock in a field containing a public right of way, contact the landowner or a local authority such as the parish council or East Devon District Council.


Be A Responsible Dog-Walker


  • Clear up after your dog
  • Don't take your dog into areas with restricted access; some playing fields and playgrounds will have notices to tell the public that dogs are not allowed – obey these signs
  • If a field with a public right of way has livestock in it, keep your dog on a lead to avoid disturbing the livestock


For more detailed advice on enjoying the countryside with your dog read the free publication “You and Your Dog in the Countryside” available at http://publications.naturalengland.org.uk/publication/30048?category=380.


Above all, all walkers and dog-walkers should remember: do as you would be done by, then we can all enjoy the countryside!


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