Countryside Code refresh – have your say closes at 5pm on 11 January 2021

Did you know there was a Countryside Code? It is produced by the UK Government’s  natural  environment  watchdog, Natural England. It has a statutory duty to produce and promote the Code to guide people visiting the countryside and to advise landowners and managers in relation to access on their land. CLICK HERE to see the current Countryside Code 

Natural England plans to produce two new versions of the full Code – one aimed at visitors to the countryside, and one aimed at landowners and land managers. Before publishing the new Code, they are seeking the public’s views on what should be in it. To take part CLICK HERE

The survey will be open until 5pm on Monday 11 January 2021.

If you would like to contribute to the South Downs Network’s comments please send your comments to  by Friday 8th January 2021. Apologies for the short notice.  

Why respond?

The South Downs Network believes it is not good enough to have a leaflet which is unknown to the vast majority of visitors despite its good intentions. The Countryside Code should be promoted to the public via a continuing programme focused on visitors to the countryside. This could be through social media and via the many partners of the South Downs National Park as well as those involved in managing other popular countryside locations such as AONBs, country parks and open spaces.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of visitors to the countryside increased significantly. Most of these visits are to be welcomed, given the many health and wellbeing benefits provided to people through outdoor exercise and contact with nature. Sadly though, there have been an increased number of incidences in the countryside which Natural England term ‘Undesirable actions and activities taking place;’ they add ‘Many of these incidents came about as the result of a lack of understanding of how to engage positively with the natural environment’

This is what the:

South Downs National Park say on the Countryside Code

Ramblers have to say about visiting the countryside

Farming UK had to say back in the summer

Ordinance Survey has to say

Countryfile magazine has to say

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