So, you’ve found the perfect walk place with your dog, but did you know that there are some rules to stick to when walking in the countryside or at the beach? Sean Whiting, from specialist country and equestrian store Houghton Country, told us about the country and seaside codes.
What’s better than a lovely walk with your dog? But, while you’re out, it’s important that you show courtesy to the area you’re in, and the people who live there. In this article, I’ll be telling you how you can respect the countryside and seaside codes as a dog walker.
Keep dogs under control
When walking, always keep your dog under control. Some areas may ask you to keep your dog on a lead, but others, such as paths and open beaches, usually allow you to give your dog free-rein. Only do so if you can keep close control and trust your dog to behave well. Always check for any signs before releasing your dog from its lead.
Don’t bother animals
You might also encounter some other animals. If you realise this is going to happen, put your dog on a lead before approaching them and try not to disturb or spook them. Between 1st March and 31st July, you are legally required to keep your dog on a lead when walking on open access land, because birds or other animals may be nesting, so be sure to respect this.
Leave things as you find them
While out in nature, it can be tempting to pick up anything pretty and take it home as a souvenir, but you should always leave things as they are to avoid disrupting the delicate ecosystem. In the countryside, you should also be mindful of gates and always leave them as you find them. Sometimes farmers will leave them open to allow their animals to get access to food and water, or they may close them so their animals don’t escape.
Clean up after yourself and your dog
When you’re out, you should always clean up after yourself. If you have any rubbish, keep it with you and put it in a bin when you find one to avoid littering. Remember, this is a place for other people to enjoy too so, if your dog fouls, it’s important that you always pick it up. The area should be left as if you never visited it in the first place.
Just follow these few simple rules of the country and seaside code, and both you and your dog will be sure to have a pleasant and stress-free time on some beautiful walks.