The countryside code is one of those things I remember from my school days that I still, to this day, remember and use. These things aren’t usually anything to do with core education like maths and English though.
Living and working on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, being a dog owner and a runner, I spend an awful lot of my time out in the countryside. To this day I remember key things from the countryside code, such as always closing gates and cleaning up after your dog.
The Open Gate
This one annoys me. The above gate was one I came across this morning whilst out running, and as I approached it I knew what I would find. I approached from land where sheep are free to roam, but the other side of this gate is arable farmland and not where sheep are meant to be.
As I passed through the gate, sure enough, there were two sheep helping themselves to the crops. To avoid further escapes I closed it – or at least I tried. This is where there’s a problem. The gatepost was so loose that it was impossible to get it to latch. While gates should be closed it’s helpful if the landowner maintains them so that this is possible.
This got me thinking. It would be really useful and helpful is gates and stiles had a plate on them with details for the landowner so that responsible people could contact them to let them know about problems like this. It could be that the owner simply didn’t know. I contacted the national park authority (as this gate is within it) as a starting point for alerting the landowner about this.
I pick up after my dog. I don’t make a fuss about it, I just do it. Why don’t others? Finding the mess on the path is bad enough, but then those special people who bag it and leave it tangling on a tree or fence really irk me!
It’s the attitude of some people who think there’ll always be someone to clean up after them. I’d love to catch one of these imbeciles in the act one day!
If you own a dog be prepared to clean up after it, otherwise you shouldn’t own a dog. It’s as simple as that. Dog mess is unpleasant and can cause infections – CLEAN IT UP.
The countryside code
I can remember being given a pamphlet at school about the countryside code and elements have always stuck with me. I hope you follow the code when you’re out in the country.
If you want to see the current incarnation then follow the link below.