The countryside code and dogs

The national countryside code is there to protect nature and our environment for everyone, so we all have a role in following it.

When we do our bit as dog owners and walkers, we make it easier for others to follow by example and show that we are a part of the solution.

Protect the environment


  •  take your litter home – leave no trace of your visit
  • do not light fires and only have BBQs where signs say you can
  • always keep dogs under control and in sight                                          
  • dog poo – bag it and bin it – any public waste bin will do            
  • care for nature – do not cause damage or disturbance


This is a part of the countryside code that we need to champion as dog walkers as it is where we really can make a difference.

Keeping our dogs alongside us is safer for everyone, it means they can’t get lost or into a dangerous situation. Control means something different for everyone, but it is important to remember that however friendly your dog is, other animals may not be, and they could still be disturbing wildlife. A good recall is a must and making sure your dog can walk on a long line or loose lead means you can still have an engaging walk while maintaining a safe amount of control.

We all know about the dog poo problem – it’s just as annoying for most of us! Unfortunately, dog waste leaches damaging nutrients into the soil and, as a dog loving nation, we have so many dogs that these are reaching dangerous levels causing harm to wildlife, so we all need to work together to do something about it.

Caring for nature means that we don’t let our dogs chase or kill wildlife and we look after the habitats they need to survive. With habitat loss and other pressures, our wildlife has a tough time of it and the slightest things can affect their chances of survival. Chasing might seem natural for dogs, but we need to make sure that it is directed at toys rather than animals, as the energy loss and potential injuries might kill that animal even if it isn’t caught.


Line of happy dogs

• be considerate to those living in, working in and enjoying the countryside
• leave gates and property as you find them
• do not block access to gateways or driveways when parking
• be nice, say hello, share the space
• follow local signs and keep to marked paths unless wider access is available

Happy dog

• check your route and local conditions
• plan your adventure – know what to expect and what you can do
• enjoy your visit, have fun, make a memory

Follow advice and local signs

Another important one for us dog owners as signs might warn of dangers for us and our dogs. It might also warn of us local wildlife and seasonal changes we need to be aware of.