Public told to follow Countryside Code ahead of reopening

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England and Wales and aims to help everyone respect rural areas
The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England and Wales and aims to help everyone respect rural areas

The public are being encouraged to follow the Countryside Code as thousands of visitors are expected to flock to rural areas this weekend.

Tourism businesses in England are set to reopen on Saturday 4 July following months of closure as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Last month, the prime minister said pubs, restaurants, hotels, campsites and caravan parks will be allowed to reopen with new health and safety restrictions.

It comes amid fears that rural tourism businesses could see revenues fall by up to £17.6bn this year because of the pandemic.



Looking at ensuring the public respect rural areas ahead of tomorrow's reopening, the Country Land and Business Association (CLA) points to the importance of the Countryside Code.

It says the Code helps the public respect farmers and rural businesses, and also protects the natural environment and ensures people enjoy the outdoors.



The Code was made to ensure visitors enjoy the countryside safely by planning ahead of their visit, maintaining social distancing, keeping dogs away from livestock, leaving gates as they find them, taking litter home and avoiding having barbecues in public spaces.

CLA president, Mark Bridgeman said rural businesses were expecting a large number of people arriving into the countryside this weekend.

“Our message is clear. People are hugely welcome in the countryside, and we want to help them to enjoy it safely and responsibly," Mr Bridgeman said.

“We believe this is a fantastic opportunity both for our regular visitors and for the many first-timers.

"We know the countryside can do wonders for people’s mental and physical health, and it can also help them understand the natural environment, including how food is produced in Britain.”

The rural group has produced graphics which capture some of the key rules to follow in the countryside.

It recently called on the government's education secretary Gavin Williamson to introduce the Countryside Code in school lessons.