The Countryside Code has been simplified:
- Be safe – plan ahead and follow any signs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
- Keep dogs under close control
- Consider other people
But did you also know?.......................................
Rights of Way – there is no open access (right to roam) on fenced off farmland. Look for the signpost and follow the legal rights of way – footpaths and bridleways (for bikes and horses). These are green dashed lines on OS maps.
Gates – the code says leave them as you find them. That is open or closed. If they are pedestrian gates, then they clearly should be closed. If a stock (large) gate is blowing in the wind, do the good deed and pin it back or close it.
Stiles – use them and take care not to dislodge any stones. The small gates are to keep the very agile and ingenious Swaledale sheep in.
Stock Movement – if you see sheep being rounded up then please stay still (it’s a magnificent sight) or take a wide berth to avoid making it a harder task.
Cattle – each year people are killed in Britain by these large animals. The risk is greater if you are with a dog. If charged by cattle, let the dog go and save yourself.
Worrying – dogs should be kept under control (& that doesn’t mean on a lead if they are well trained) – sheep get stressed easily and even if your dog does not attack it can still cause miscarriage, separation of lambs, laming and other injury.
Dog Faeces - be aware dogs and sheep don’t mix. Farmers are worried that dogs may transfer tapeworms to sheep which causes internal cysts. Hydatid disease is caused by infection of humans with the larval stage of the dog tape worm. It is maintained via a herbivore (mainly sheep) to dog cycle in which, occasionally, humans (rather than grazing animals) are infected by tapeworm eggs excreted in the faeces of infected dogs. This is particularly relevant near Reeth where there is a high volume of dog walking. As a result land has had to be fenced off to protect the sheep. Please clean up after your dog.
Diseases - Foot and Mouth disease - respect bio-security measures that farmers have put in place, such as using foot dips where provided and ensuring that no food is discarded where livestock can gain access, this latter being a major disease risk .
Please take a real interest in our rural industry – it feeds you.