With staycations booming and thousands of visitors expected to head to the countryside and rural areas this Easter, the CLA has welcomed Natural England’s refresh of the Countryside Code.
An overhaul of the 70-year-old Code, which provides advice about how to enjoy a visit to the countryside safely and responsibly under its headings ‘Respect, Protect, Enjoy’, was made to ensure it is more engaging with the public following an increase of visitors since Covid-19 struck.
It is hoped that over the Easter period and beyond, those heading to rural areas for walks and picnics adhere to the Code.
Mark Bridgeman, President of the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) which represents 28,000 rural business owners and farmers, said:
“The countryside has seen an increase in visitors since the pandemic began over a year ago – and that’s great to see. Everyone is welcome.
“With more people expected to explore rural areas over Easter it’s imperative that the Code is well-read, respected and followed. Although there have not been significant changes to the Code, the messaging is clear – Respect, Protect and Enjoy the outdoors.”
With rural areas seeing an increase in visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic, informing those heading to cherished rural areas has never been more important.
“By closing gates behind you and sticking to footpaths, to keeping your dog under control and picking up rubbish, there is no reason why we cannot work together to keep the countryside beautiful for everyone to enjoy.
“The countryside is, of course, a place of work where the land, livestock, machinery, wildlife and environment must be respected – and a greater understanding of this in the long-term will benefit both farmers and walkers.”