Protect, Respect and Enjoy Our Public Rights Of Way

See below for more information.

When exploring our countryside please remember to respect others, protect the environment and enjoy it!

Take care of our countryside

Going for walks in the countryside has been a huge help to our mental health during the pandemic, and has been an important part of our lives. However, the volume of people using public rights of way has increased hugely and so has added pressure to the rights of way around Gloucestershire. Please always remember the Countryside Code - be respectful and responsible.

  • Please respect the local community and other people using the outdoors. Remember your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
  • We all have a responsibility to protect the countryside now and for future generations, so make sure you don’t harm animals, birds, plants or trees and try to leave no trace of your visit. When out with your dog make sure it is not a danger or nuisance to farm animals, horses, wildlife or other people.
  • Even when going out locally, it’s best to get the latest information about where and when you can go. For example, your rights to go onto some areas of open access land and coastal land may be restricted in particular places at particular times. Find out as much as you can about where you are going, plan ahead and follow advice and local signs.

Advice for dog owners:

  • Keep to the recorded path. This also applies for those who allow their dogs to wander off the path, or who throw balls onto land for their dogs to retrieve. There is no right in place for you to do this. Your dog should remain with you on the path under effective control, especially at this time of year with young lambs and nesting birds around. Dogs can inflict damage by chasing livestock, even if they don’t catch or visibly injure the animals. The stress of worrying can cause sheep to die and leads to miscarriages in pregnant ewes. There are other implications too; damage to fences and field boundaries caused by sheep fleeing and “mis-mothering” where lambs become separated from their mothers.
  • Always clean up after your dog and dispose of the bag in a responsible way by using an appropriate bin or taking the bag home – “bag it and bin it”. Do not leave the bag on the path, hung from a tree or left where cattle or horses could eat it.
  • Report attacks by dogs and sightings of dogs roaming the countryside to local farmers and/or the police.
  • Do not leave dogs loose with no supervision in gardens adjoining livestock fields – many attacks are caused by dogs which escape and attack sheep grazing nearby.
    Familiarise puppies with farm livestock from a young age to reduce the risk of them attacking sheep or cattle as adult dogs.
  • It is important to train your dog in order to keep it under proper control when out in the countryside. Good training reduces the risk of your dog worrying livestock and means that you can feel confident when enjoying a walk with your dog.
Page updated: 24/03/2021 Page updated by: Highways

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