Do You Know the Country Code?
Taking a walk in the countryside is a great way to spend time. On the Bodnant Estate, there are plenty of choices when it comes to walking in the country. You can enjoy an amble through woodland or longer, more strenuous walks to mountain top peaks. But, are you aware of the country code?
What is The Country Code?
Just as we have rules when it comes to driving on the road, the country code operates in a similar way. It is a set of guidelines that show how you can enjoy your time in the country, leaving nothing but temporary footprints on pathways.
#1 Shut the gates
It could be a gate entrance to a pathway across Bodnant Estate land or a field gate, whatever it is, if the gate is closed when you get there and there is a sign asking for the gate to be shut, then please do so. Livestock, especially sheep, are tenacious creatures who will walk through an open gate and wander into gardens and onto the road.
There is nothing worse than arriving at a beauty or picnic spot overlooking the Conwy Valley only to find that the people before have left food remnants and general detritus. As well as spoiling the natural beauty of the area, it can also be dangerous to livestock and local wildlife. Please take your rubbish with you and, if you do come across rubbish, please pick that up too.
#3 Do not feed the livestock
It can be tempting when you come across a group of grazing horses or inquisitive cows to feed them some of your own food. Making for photo opportunities, there is a downside to feeding livestock and that is some of the food we eat is not good for them. Please don’t feed any of the livestock – they are well-cared for and never go hungry!
#4 Keep dogs under close control
Your dog may be the most obedient of dogs but when a dog startles sheep, cows or horses, dogs are very tempted to give chase. Unfortunately, this can mean that livestock and your dog could be injured. Please keep your dogs on a lead and stop them from worrying or scaring livestock.
#5 Stay on the path
You’ll see from the map of the Bodnant Estate that there are a number of paths that lead you through fields and woodlands. Stay on the path because this means that you stay safe. Rambling and walking in the country is all about enjoyment and by sticking to the path, you’ll reduce the likelihood of getting lost too!
#6 Please don’t light fires
The temptation is, that in the first flush of enjoying the open space of the country, you light a fire to enjoy the romance of a flickering flame. However, fires in the country can pose a serious fire threat, especially during summer. You may not realise just how dry the woodland or fields are and the smallest of sparks or embers from a fire can lead to a catastrophic fire. Please do not light fires at any time.
Respect the rural way of life
Visiting the countryside opens a window on a different way of life. It is a slower pace, less complex and stressful and for a staycation, it is the perfect venue. There is nothing better or more soothing for the soul than a gentle stroll in the country. And by respecting it, and leaving nothing behind that damages the environment or harms the livestock and wildlife, it’ll here for you to enjoy again another time.