Skip to Main Content

Log in to access all features

Find the perfect dog walk on your journey - Driving with Dogs

Bark Out

Your dog in the countryside

Your dog in the countryside

Learn the Countryside Code

  • First and foremost, it's important to familiarise yourself with the Countryside Code. This code serves as a set of guidelines to help visitors respect, protect, and enjoy the countryside responsibly. Key rules include:
  • Respect wildlife, livestock, and other people: Keep your dog under control and avoid disturbing animals or other visitors.
  • Leave gates and property as you find them: Ensure gates are closed to prevent livestock from escaping or entering areas they shouldn't.
  • Protect plants and animals: Keep your dog on designated paths to minimise damage to delicate ecosystems.
  • Take your litter home: Leave no trace of your visit by properly disposing of any rubbish, including dog waste. If you can't find any bins, take it away with you.

Understand the law

While the countryside may seem like an idyllic setting, there are potential legal pitfalls for dog owners. One such concern is "livestock worrying," which occurs when dogs chase, attack, or even kill farm animals. This offence can result in hefty fines of up to £1000, as well as compensation payments to the affected farmer.

Additionally, there are regulations regarding the number of dogs that can be walked at a time and the length of their leads. For instance, in areas with ground-nesting birds during breeding season, it's crucial to keep dogs on a short lead to prevent them from disturbing vulnerable wildlife.

Before embarking on your countryside stroll, be aware of any specific warnings or restrictions in the area you plan to visit. This might include information about nesting birds, grazing livestock, or areas where dogs are prohibited altogether. Pay attention to signage and local notices to avoid unintentionally breaking any rules.

Be a responsible dog owner

There are plenty of ways to enjoy a country walk with your canine companion while staying within the bounds of the law:

  • Plan your route: use your Driving with Dogs memberhip to find dog-friendly trails in advance and choose routes that are suitable for your dog's fitness level and temperament.
  • Keep your dog under control: Ensure your dog is trained to respond to commands and keep them on a lead when necessary, especially around livestock or sensitive wildlife habitats.
  • Respect other walkers: Be courteous to fellow walkers by keeping your dog close and under control, particularly in crowded areas or on narrow paths.
  • Pack essentials: Bring plenty of water for both you and your dog, as well as snacks and waste bags for cleaning up after them.
  • Take breaks: Allow your dog to rest and explore at their own pace, taking breaks as needed to prevent fatigue.

"Exploring the British countryside with your dog is a dream, but it comes with responsibilities. Respect the Countryside Code, watch out for legal issues like livestock worrying, heed warnings and signage, and plan ahead. With proper care and consideration, you and your furry friend can enjoy the beauty of nature responsibly.

"Remember to take the right clothing with you when you're out in the country. Sturdy footwear, hard-wearing materials, and wind and waterproof jackets are invaluable, especially considering the unpredictable British weather! So, leash up, lace up your walking boots, and get ready for a memorable adventure in nature with your faithful companion by your side."- Rachel Thomson, Humes Outfitters

Holidays and Days Out with your Dog