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Expert’s plea to countryside walkers during lambing season

08 Mar 2024 3 minute read
Image: Welsh Government

With brighter weather and lighter nights on the horizon, walkers are being urged to take care when on spring countryside walks – especially during lambing season.

Natalie Byrne, an outdoors expert from Millets, has commented on how to both enjoy and respect countryside areas.

She said: “On weekend breaks or days off many people choose to head for the countryside to relax and spend some time in the fresh air.

“However, there are rules and guidelines in place to ensure that everyone is doing their part to look after the area. Often people visit the countryside without understanding what the countryside etiquette is.


“A lot of these are general rules that people know to follow, such as respecting everyone, but a few are specific to country areas.

“These guidelines and general practices are there to protect the local wildlife and the environment, but also the local community and residents.”

  • Respect Private Property

Possibly the most important of all the tips is respecting private property. Oftentimes, areas of the countryside are owned by individuals or communities.

When exploring country areas it is essential to respect private property signs and obtain the right permission if you need access to any private land.

  • Keep to Designated Paths and Trails

Similarly, keeping to designated areas and walking routes is a great way to make sure you are not crossing any private areas.

As well as that, the trails are in place for a reason, to help you avoid trampling on any precious crops or disturbing wildlife.

Sticking to labelled paths will help to preserve the area.

Dog walkers. Credit: Millets
  • Close The Gates:

Walking and cycling routes often have gates at various points to keep livestock in their designated areas and prevent them from straying.

When you come across a gate it is vital to ensure that you properly close it after passing through.

  • Keep Dogs Under Control 

Dog walkers are generally welcome in most countryside areas but in order to respect the wildlife and the terrain you should follow any local rules regarding dogs.

Places with livestock tend to require dogs to be on leads to prevent any cattle from being spooked by the dogs.

  • Leave No Trace

The no trace principle applies to all areas of the countryside, whether you are walking, cycling or camping you should put any rubbish in the bin or carry it home with you if there are none in the surrounding areas.

The general rule of thumb is that the area should be left as you found it.

  • Minimise Noise

Be mindful of your noise pollution. Countryside areas are quieter than urban ones so you may need to adjust your noise accordingly, especially in the later hours of the evening, to avoid disturbing local residents and wildlife

Some areas, such as campsites, may have quiet time rules so make sure you are respectful of those.

  • Educate Yourself

Before visiting a countryside area, take some time to research the local environment, wildlife, and cultural history.

Understanding an area’s heritage can not only enhance your experience but also help you to better appreciate the area you are visiting.

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1 month ago

Lots of signs at the local reserve asking people to keep dogs on leads this time of the year (ground nesting birds). No one keeps them on the leads.

Good luck to farmers with the same attitude in dog owners.

Rob flood
Rob flood
1 month ago

Dogs worrying livestock can be shot. Harsh but would probably alleviate the problem. Unfortunately it’s the owners not the animal is the problem. People seem to think they have the right to walk across any farmers land whether there is a right of way or not and let their little pouch chase anything or defecate anywhere

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