The Countryside Code & Guidance for Dog Owners

You, Your Dog and the Countryside

There’s nothing better than a walk with your dog in the countryside and at Ford & Etal Estates we welcome dogs and their owners but ask that you are respectful of the area and of other people by following the simple advice below.

Ensure that your dog does not disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people by keeping it under effective control.  This means that you:

  • keep your dog on a lead, or
  • keep it in sight at all times, be aware of what it's doing and be confident it will return to you promptly on command
  • ensure it does not stray off the path or area where you have right of access.
  • We strongly recommend that in public areas you keep your dog on a lead at all times.

The access rights that normally apply to open country and registered common land (known as 'open access' land) require dogs to be kept on a short lead between 1 March and 31 July, to help protect ground nesting birds, and all year round near farm animals.

For your own safety and for the welfare of the animals your dog should be kept on a lead around horses and farm animals.  A farmer may shoot a dog which is attacking or chasing farm animals without being liable to compensate the dog's owner.

However, if cattle or horses chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead - don't risk getting hurt by trying to protect it.  Your dog will be much safer if you let it run away from a farm animal in these circumstances and so will you.

Everyone knows how unpleasant dog mess is and it can cause infections, so always clean up after your dog and get rid of the mess responsibly.  Please do not leave poo bags on footpaths - "bag it and bin it" in one of the bins in the villages. Poo bags are available free of charge from Heatherslaw Visitor Centre, Ford and Etal Village Shops, and at the start of the riverside walk at Etal.  

Follow the Countryside Code - Respect Protect Enjoy

Respect other people

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
  • Keep dogs under effective control

Enjoy the outdoors

  • Plan ahead and be prepared
  • Follow advice and local signs

Download a copy of the Countryside Code here

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