Make teaching the Countryside Code for children compulsory – CLA

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has written to the Education Secretary Gavin Williamson again calling on him to include the Countryside Code in the national curriculum.

The CLA recently partnered with LEAF Education to develop a resource pack for teachers and youth group leaders to help them show young people how to behave safely and responsibly in the countryside.

But, at present, there is little by way of Whitehall directive encouraging schools to teach the Countryside Code.

Mark Bridgeman, president of the CLA, said:

“Speak to any farmer or landowner and they will tell you that we need to do more to introduce children to the countryside – and with it, teach them how to be safe and responsible.

“We initially wrote to the Education department in 2020 and were, to say the least, frustrated by the reply. That’s why we took the matter into our own hands and a year later we have done much of the work for them.

“But we need a conversation about how to properly embed the Countryside Code into schools.

There is too little being taught, and many farmers see the consequences on their own land, be it from wildfires, litter or dog attacks on livestock.

“The pack is free to download from the CLA’s website and is also available on the Countryside Classroom – a website regularly used by teachers seeking materials related to rural affairs.”

CLA members are encouraged to share the resource with their local primary schools.