Much of what you are about the read on this page is down to common sense. If you are new to the outdoors, and specifically for this website long distance hiking pay close attention as I think you will find that this page really enhances your feeling of doing things right.

The Countryside Code evolved from the work of a number of organizations and before it was finalized, it had a lot of different versions. Two versions emerged in the 1930s, known as the Country Code, and a Code of Courtesy. In the 1940s, with the post-way rise in outdoor leisure, the Ramblers Code came along – created by the Ramblers Association. Eventually, in 1981, the Countryside Code we still use today was published by the Countryside Commission. This was revised again in 2004, to reflect the changes in society since 1981 and the introduction of new open access rights. A temporarily revised COVID-19 code was released in 2020.

The idea of the Countryside Code is to have a set of standards for all countryside users to adhere by. They are there to protect, and preserve the local wildlife, economy and livleyhood of those who reside in the countryside.

It’s important to forget that when visiting the countryside, which we all do at some point, we are in somebody, or something else’s home. People, and wildlife live in relatively good harmony in our natural spaces, and as visitors we must ensure that we respect these sensitive spaces. After all, we would like them to be here for generations to come.

For long distance walkers, the code still applies. Please also make sure you are aware of the leave no trace rules if you are wild camping (Illegal in England and Wales).

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

The countryside code can be broken down into three sections – Respect, Protect and of course Enjoy. See! It’s not all about keeping off the grass and trying not to trample those sensitive and protected wildflowers.

To view the countryside code please visit the Government Website website. It’s a bit of a read, but understanding it will leave you with the knowledge that you are doing the right thing by the natural and rural environments which give us so much joy.




To view the official countryside code please click here.