If you follow the Countryside Code wherever you go, you'll get the best enjoyment possible and help to protect the countryside now and for future generations.
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
Our Ranger Code
The countryside is a working environment and can be a dangerous place. There are hazards such as pot holes, fast-flowing rivers, cows and farm traffic. The Ranger Code gives you everything you need to know about staying safe and looking after the countryside.
- Where possible, cycle, walk or use public transport to minimise your environmental impact.
- Park in designated car parks if you have to use a private vehicle.
- Lock and alarm your vehicle. Do not leave anything on display.
- Reduce your speed and drive carefully on Dales roads. Even if you know the roads well, there could be a herd of cattle around the corner.
Prepare and plan
- Ensure you have the correct clothing and equipment.
- Learn to use a map and keep to rights of way or access land. We run navigation courses throughout the year.
- Enjoy and respect it.
- Keep noise down. Tranquillity is one of the special qualities of the Dales.
- Take only photos and memories. Leave nothing behind.
Rights of Way
- Cyclists and horse riders should not use footpaths.
- On bridleways, cyclists should always give way to horses and walkers.
- Prevent erosion – avoid spreading out on paths, particularly during winter or after wet weather.
- In hay meadows during late spring and early summer, avoid spreading out and trampling the grass. This is cut and used as winter feed for livestock.
- Ensure you know your rights and responsibilities - our Open Access page tells you more.
- Check any restrictions for you or your dog before you leave. Ensure you know when you must keep your dog on a lead of no more than two metres.
- Before you walk, plan your entry and exit points.
- Dispose of dog waste responsibly. Bags of waste left in the open are unsightly, a health hazard and dangerous to stock and wildlife.
- Worm your dog regularly to prevent the spreading parasites and infections to people and animals such as ground nesting birds.
- Keep your dog under close control, preferably on a short lead at all times to avoid disturbance to wildlife or livestock.
Sheep and lambs
- Lambing time can run from January until June. Keep your dog under close control, preferably on a short lead. Even dogs on long leads can frighten sheep enough to miscarry or lose their lambs.
- Remember, a farmer is legally allowed to shoot any dog worrying livestock.
- Cattle are naturally inquisitive. If they approach, walk slowly with your dog at heel.
- If you feel threatened, let go of your dog. It can run faster than cattle and escape. Once you are safe, regain control of your dog.
- Always walk round cows with calves. Walking between them can be seen as a threat.
- If in doubt do not enter the field.
- Keep your dog under close control during the bird breeding season (1 March until 31 July), preferably on a short lead.
- When disturbed, ground nesting birds leave their eggs and chicks unprotected and exposed to the elements.
- If you or your dog does disturb any wildlife, leave the area quickly so that parents may return to their young.