Hempstead in Essex
Resting place of William Harvey and Sir Eliab Harvey and birthplace of Dick Turpin

The Countryside Code

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

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. It was updated in 2012.

Code for the Public

  • Respect other people
  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available
  • Protect the natural environment
  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under effective control
  • Enjoy the outdoors
  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Keep dogs under effective control

    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