Statutory guidance

The Countryside Code

Responsibilities for visitors to the countryside and those who manage the land.

Applies to England and Wales



Countryside visitors must check and follow national rules during the coronavirus pandemic before leaving home.

Rules for countryside visitors

The Countryside Code for visitors is your guide to visiting the countryside. It includes the rules you must follow when you’re enjoying parks and waterways, coast and countryside. It’s available to read online or download as a PDF leaflet.

You must follow the signs in the countryside that tell you where you can go and who can use the right of way.

Rules for land managers

The Countryside Code for land managers is under review. The current advice is available to read online.


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Published 19 August 2014
Last updated 1 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. Natural England and Natural Resources Wales have updated the Countryside Code advice for countryside visitors. They have worked with a group of stakeholders to update the guidance. The messages in this code will be part of a campaign to make sure people can enjoy the outdoors responsibly. We will update the advice for land managers later in 2021. The current version is available on GOV.UK.

  2. Full version of the Countryside Code reinstated.

  3. We've published a revised version of the Countryside Code.

  4. New Countryside Code leaflet published.

  5. Added bookmark and details of how to obtain hard copies of both the leaflet and bookmark.

  6. First published.