The Countryside Code

Wherever you go, following these steps will help keep your pet safe, protect the environment, and show you are a responsible dog owner.

  • Control your dog so that it does not scare or disturb farm animals or wildlife.
  • When using the new access rights over open country and common land, you must keep your dog on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July - and all year round near farm animals - and you may not be able to take your dog at all on some areas or at some times. Please follow any official signs.
  • You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control. But as a general rule, keep your dog on a lead if you cannot rely on its obedience. By law, farmers are entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals.
  • If a farm animal chases you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.
  • Take particular care that your dog doesn't scare sheep and lambs, or wander where it might disturb birds that nest on the ground and other wildlife - eggs and young will soon die without protection from their parents.
  • Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections, so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly. Also, make sure your dog is wormed regularly to protect it, other animals and people.

You can also find out more about these rules from here or, if you have a particular query, email or call 0845 100 3298.

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Related Topics

Countryside CodeDog Walking

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