As the weather improves, evenings get brighter and summer approaches, people visiting the Welsh countryside for recreational purposes are being encouraged to follow the Countryside Code.
The Countryside Code offers advice on how to enjoy a visit to the countryside and how to protect it by acting responsibly.
The National Farmers' Union (NFU) Wales (Cymru) has teamed up with Ramblers, a charity dedicated to looking after paths and green spaces for the purpose of walking, to encourage this countryside-safe behaviour for the purpose of farmers' and land.
NFU Cymru rural affairs board chairman Hedd Pugh said: “Welsh farmers take great pride in maintaining and managing much of Wales’ beautiful countryside. It is a source of great pride for us that our landscapes attract thousands of visitors every year.
“As well as hosting footpaths and rights of way, our fields are also a working environment where animals graze. Spring is a particularly busy time for many Welsh farms with new-born lambs and calves enjoying their surroundings for the first time.
"We ask all visitors to please be respectful of this environment and the animals that call it home by keeping their dogs under control and on a short lead around livestock."
“We want everyone to be able to feel welcome and enjoy the simple pleasures and benefits of being in the outdoors surrounded by nature," added Rebecca Brough, policy and advocacy manager at Ramblers Cymru.
“By following the simple guidance in the Countryside Code we can all do our bit to protect the environment and the local communities and people who live there as we pass through, leaving only footprints and creating new memories.”
The Countryside Code encompasses the following basic messages:
- Respect everyone: Be considerate to those living, working and enjoying the countryside, e.g. leave gates and property as you find them, don't block access gates or driveways and say hello and share the space;
- Protect the environment: Take your litter home, don't light fires, keep dogs under control and in sight etc;
- Enjoy the outdoors: Check your route and local conditions, plan an adventure and enjoy the countryside.