Yorkshire’s Land Network reminds visitors to follow the countryside code

Landowners and organisations representing more than a third of Yorkshire’s land area have urged people to follow the Countryside Code as lockdown restrictions begin to ease across the nation.

From 29 March, gatherings of up to six people will be permitted outdoors and the network, which includes Yorkshire Water, Forestry Commission, National Trust, NFU, Woodland Trust, The Bolton Abbey Estate, the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Country, Land and Business Association, has urged people to continue following government guidelines and respect Yorkshire's countryside.

Those visiting Yorkshire’s open spaces in the coming weeks and months should follow the Countryside Code to ensure sites remain in a condition for others to enjoy.

The code includes:

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors and park carefully so access to gateways and driveways is clear
  • Leave gates and property as you find them and make sure to follow paths but give way to others where it’s narrow
  • Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home. Don’t light barbecues or fires and make sure to keep dogs under control and bin any poo
  • Make sure to plan ahead, check what facilities are open and be prepared, as well as following advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures

Crispin Thorn, Yorkshire and North East Forestry Commission director, said: "The easing of lockdown restrictions is welcome news and the prospect of meeting up with friends and family outside in larger groups will be a relief for many. We are expecting open spaces to be particularly busy once restrictions are eased and we enter a period of school holidays and bank holiday weekends.

"Yorkshire offers a wide range of opportunities to meet and socialise in green spaces and open countryside, but it is important people are considerate of the environment.  Visitors should make sure to follow the Countryside Code, take litter home with them, as well as adhering to the latest government Covid guidelines.

"In recent years we have also seen a number of damaging wildfires which are often started by disposable barbeques. The fires are a danger to life as well as local ecosystems, as they damage moorland, peat soils, trees and impact valuable habitats and wildlife such as birds, reptiles and insects. Landowners in Yorkshire are united in asking visitors not to set fires or use barbeques unless in a designated area."