Easter is an ideal time to head out walking with family and friends. We've joined up with the National Farmers Union (NFU) to remind people how to stay safe whilst enjoying the countryside this spring.
In spring the countryside comes to life with bluebells, wild garlic and tulips blooming and newborn animals taking their first steps. It’s also a time to take extra care and we've got some basic tips you can follow to ensure your countryside outing is as safe as possible – both for you and the animals you come across.
If out walking your dog in fields with cattle, avoid getting between cows and their calves and keep your dog close and under effective control on a lead around both cows and sheep. If you are threatened by cattle, don’t hang on to your dog – it’s safer to let it go.
“In the spring it’s especially important for walkers to be sympathetic to farm animals rearing their young and give them space” says NFU livestock board chairman Charles Sercombe. “If you feel threatened by animals protecting their territory or young do not run, move to the edge of the field, and if possible find another way round.”
“The countryside is a beautiful place to walk in” adds Sercombe. “However, it is a working environment where animals graze. So it’s important to take care and be mindful of your surroundings so you can fully enjoy the experience.”
We always recommend walkers follow the Countryside Code and Scottish Outdoor Access Code – which contain further advice on walking with dogs – in order to get the most from their countryside visit whilst respecting and protecting the natural environment.
For further safety information and tips to follow when walking near livestock and with dogs, visit our advice for walkers section.
We’d love to see your spring snaps so please share any photos you take when out walking this Easter on our facebook page or tweet them to @RamblersGB.