We all want to encourage the British public to get outside to enjoy and respect the health and psychological benefits of getting outside into our lovely countryside. But with around 83% of the UK population living in an urban environment, there are a great many potential visitors who may need help in learning how to respect the countryside properly.
The Countryside Code states that land managers must make it easy for visitors to act responsibly, and also to identify possible threats to their safety by:
- “Keeping paths clear and waymarks and signs in good order and up-to-date will help people stick to the right routes and access points.”
- “Encourage people to respect your wishes by giving clear, polite guidance where it’s needed. For example, telling visitors about your land management work helps them to avoid getting in your way.”
- “If electric fencing is used, ensure warning signs are visible.”
Useful information for members of the public
As any farmer knows, having members of the public on your land can be fraught with difficulties, especially if you have animals. The NFU recently reported a worrying rise in the incidents of livestock worrying by dogs - you may find it helpful to download their information posters for dog owners, or provide your visitors with a website link to the Forestry Commission’s booklet for dog owners wanting to enjoy the countryside with their pets.
The NFU’s Countryside service is aimed at the public who want to find out more about farming and the countryside, giving them tips on how to enjoy it responsibly.
Enjoythecountryside.com is a website dedicated to encouraging the public into the countryside, but urges them to be responsible at the same time. It highlights all the many and varied potential dangers unsuspecting members of the public might face, e.g. insects, poisonous plants, wild animals and livestock including cattle, which have been responsible for around 75 deaths in the last five years.
Inform members of the public
To keep your livestock safe, damage to your land to a minimum and public enjoyment of the countryside at a maximum, you need to be very clear about where they can and cannot go, and what the dangers might be. Having good, unambiguous signage is therefore essential for the safety of the public and your farm. Check out our large selection of stock signs and waymarkers, or create your own using our custom templates.