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Rules of the British countryside

1. Leave nothing but footprints. The countryside is full of animals, both wildlife and livestock. Some animals, if they come across a discarded can of soda, may try to eat it and cause themselves harm. Sadly, it is common to see the Queen’s beautiful swans caught up in fishing wire left behind. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/

1. Leave nothing but footprints. The countryside is full of animals, both wildlife and livestock. Some animals, if they come across a discarded can of soda, may try to eat it and cause themselves harm. Sadly, it is common to see the Queen’s beautiful swans caught up in fishing wire left behind. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/

2. Take nothing but memories. Visitors may well see something that interests them and want to take it home as a souvenir. However, they may be taking something vital to the farmer whose land they are enjoying. There is also the fact that visitors may bring home more than they bargained for. That pile of wool found while walking through a field of sheep may contain harmful bacteria or pests they don’t want to bring home to family pets. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/

2. Take nothing but memories. Visitors may well see something that interests them and want to take it home as a souvenir. However, they may be taking something vital to the farmer whose land they are enjoying. There is also the fact that visitors may bring home more than they bargained for. That pile of wool found while walking through a field of sheep may contain harmful bacteria or pests they don’t want to bring home to family pets. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/

3. Always leave gates as found. The common misconception is to always close gates after passing through them. This becomes a problem for the farmer who intentionally leaves a gate open to make way for a flock of wild sheep. If a walker finds a gate shut, they should shut it after going through to contain the livestock. Equally, if the gate is found open, the farmer may have a reason for it being open. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.nfuonline.com/

3. Always leave gates as found. The common misconception is to always close gates after passing through them. This becomes a problem for the farmer who intentionally leaves a gate open to make way for a flock of wild sheep. If a walker finds a gate shut, they should shut it after going through to contain the livestock. Equally, if the gate is found open, the farmer may have a reason for it being open. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.nfuonline.com/

4. Always keep dogs on leads, or leashes. A beloved pet may be obedient in a controlled environment. Take them to a field of sheep who will instinctively run away from perceived danger and the dog’s chase instincts may take over. Commands for him to come back to the owner may fall on deaf ears. Most livestock will run if frightened and keep running until stopped by a ditch, fence or road. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/index.php

4. Always keep dogs on leads, or leashes. A beloved pet may be obedient in a controlled environment. Take them to a field of sheep who will instinctively run away from perceived danger and the dog’s chase instincts may take over. Commands for him to come back to the owner may fall on deaf ears. Most livestock will run if frightened and keep running until stopped by a ditch, fence or road. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/index.php

5. Stick to assigned paths. This rule is for your safety.  Even in the country, space is an issue so a farmer may have to keep his bull in a field near a footpath. If visitors wander into his field the bull may become aggressive, and bulls can run faster than people think. The farmer will know the footpaths on his land and will have arranged his livestock to keep walkers safe. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.ramblers.org.uk/

5. Stick to assigned paths. This rule is for your safety. Even in the country, space is an issue so a farmer may have to keep his bull in a field near a footpath. If visitors wander into his field the bull may become aggressive, and bulls can run faster than people think. The farmer will know the footpaths on his land and will have arranged his livestock to keep walkers safe. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.ramblers.org.uk/

6. Know the difference between the uses of the paths. A footpath is for feet, but only human and dog ones. Horses are not allowed on these paths as they are a hazard for smaller, slower users. If a horse rider is using a footpath, the walker should step aside for safety and report them to the local parish council. Horses are allowed to use bridlepaths or bridleways and if walkers are using these kinds of paths they should take care to keep out of the way of large animals that may be travelling at quick speeds. Byways are for vehicles so extra care must be taken if walkers use them. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/

6. Know the difference between the uses of the paths. A footpath is for feet, but only human and dog ones. Horses are not allowed on these paths as they are a hazard for smaller, slower users. If a horse rider is using a footpath, the walker should step aside for safety and report them to the local parish council. Horses are allowed to use bridlepaths or bridleways and if walkers are using these kinds of paths they should take care to keep out of the way of large animals that may be travelling at quick speeds. Byways are for vehicles so extra care must be taken if walkers use them. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/

7. Make sure to wash hands, clothing and footwear after visiting the countryside. People who grow up on a farm build up an immunity to bacteria and germs, but those not from that area may become unwell if they pick up germs their bodies are not used to. This will also help prevent the spread of bacteria between different farms. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

7. Make sure to wash hands, clothing and footwear after visiting the countryside. People who grow up on a farm build up an immunity to bacteria and germs, but those not from that area may become unwell if they pick up germs their bodies are not used to. This will also help prevent the spread of bacteria between different farms. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

8. Take care on the roads. British roads are narrow and often unlit so they can be hazardous. Many horse riders use the roads as a way to enjoy the countryside and also to exercise their horses. Horses are naturally flight animals so if startled they will instinctively run from a perceived danger. While driving or cycling, motorists who come upon a horse on the road should pass wide and slow. It is advisable that the motorist turn loud music down too and avoid revving their engine. Look out for the rider; if the rider is signaling the motorist to slow down or wait before overtaking they should do so as the rider will be trying to avoid an accident for both parties. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html

8. Take care on the roads. British roads are narrow and often unlit so they can be hazardous. Many horse riders use the roads as a way to enjoy the countryside and also to exercise their horses. Horses are naturally flight animals so if startled they will instinctively run from a perceived danger. While driving or cycling, motorists who come upon a horse on the road should pass wide and slow. It is advisable that the motorist turn loud music down too and avoid revving their engine. Look out for the rider; if the rider is signaling the motorist to slow down or wait before overtaking they should do so as the rider will be trying to avoid an accident for both parties. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html

9. The farmyard is not a playground. To a child the farmyard may seem like an adventure land with the machinery and bales of straw to climb. However, there are many unforeseen dangers and children should always be supervised while walking through farmyards and fields. Walkers should remember to stick to paths and not go into barns which are private. The farmer will not expect visitors in these private areas so barns may not be made safe. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/index.htm

9. The farmyard is not a playground. To a child the farmyard may seem like an adventure land with the machinery and bales of straw to climb. However, there are many unforeseen dangers and children should always be supervised while walking through farmyards and fields. Walkers should remember to stick to paths and not go into barns which are private. The farmer will not expect visitors in these private areas so barns may not be made safe. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/index.htm

10. Plan ahead. Britain is one of the safest countries in the world, yet it is still advisable that visitors walk with a companion and/or take a cell phone. They should tell someone where they are going and what time they expect to return. The weather is variable in the U.K. so check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall)
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/
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10. Plan ahead. Britain is one of the safest countries in the world, yet it is still advisable that visitors walk with a companion and/or take a cell phone. They should tell someone where they are going and what time they expect to return. The weather is variable in the U.K. so check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. (Courtesy photo by Gina Randall) http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/

RAF Mildenhall -- The U.K. attracts a variety of visitors, many of whom come to see and experience the wonders of the countryside. There are many public rights of way including footpaths, bridlepaths and byways. It is important to understand rural beauty needs to be preserved for future generations. Here we take a look at ways to make sure everyone is able to enjoy a safe and pleasant outing to the countryside.

1. Leave nothing but footprints
. The countryside is full of animals, both wildlife and livestock. Some animals, if they come across a discarded can of soda, may try to eat it and cause themselves harm. Sadly, it is common to see the Queen's beautiful swans caught up in fishing wire left behind.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/

2. Take nothing but memories. Visitors may well see something that interests them and want to take it home as a souvenir. However, they may be taking something vital to the farmer whose land they are enjoying. There is also the fact that visitors may bring home more than they bargained for. That pile of wool found while walking through a field of sheep may contain harmful bacteria or pests they don't want to bring home to family pets.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/

3. Always leave gates as found. The common misconception is to always close gates after passing through them. This becomes a problem for the farmer who intentionally leaves a gate open to make way for a flock of wild sheep. If a walker finds a gate shut, they should shut it after going through to contain the livestock. Equally, if the gate is found open, the farmer may have a reason for it being open.
http://www.nfuonline.com/

4. Always keep dogs on leads, or leashes. A beloved pet may be obedient in a controlled environment. Take them to a field of sheep who will instinctively run away from perceived danger and the dog's chase instincts may take over. Commands for him to come back to the owner may fall on deaf ears. Most livestock will run if frightened and keep running until stopped by a ditch, fence or road.
http://www.nationalsheep.org.uk/index.php

5. Stick to assigned paths. This rule is for your safety. Even in the country, space is an issue so a farmer may have to keep his bull in a field near a footpath. If visitors wander into his field the bull may become aggressive, and bulls can run faster than people think. The farmer will know the footpaths on his land and will have arranged his livestock to keep walkers safe.
http://www.ramblers.org.uk/

6. Know the difference between the uses of the paths. A footpath is for feet, but only human and dog ones. Horses are not allowed on these paths as they are a hazard for smaller, slower users. If a horse rider is using a footpath, the walker should step aside for safety and report them to the local parish council. Horses are allowed to use bridlepaths or bridleways and if walkers are using these kinds of paths they should take care to keep out of the way of large animals that may be travelling at quick speeds. Byways are for vehicles so extra care must be taken if walkers use them.
http://www.defra.gov.uk/rural/

7. Make sure to wash hands, clothing and footwear after visiting the countryside. People who grow up on a farm build up an immunity to bacteria and germs, but those not from that area may become unwell if they pick up germs their bodies are not used to. This will also help prevent the spread of bacteria between different farms. http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/

8. Take care on the roads. British roads are narrow and often unlit so they can be hazardous. Many horse riders use the roads as a way to enjoy the countryside and also to exercise their horses. Horses are naturally flight animals so if startled they will instinctively run from a perceived danger. While driving or cycling, motorists who come upon a horse on the road should pass wide and slow. It is advisable that the motorist turn loud music down too and avoid revving their engine. Look out for the rider; if the rider is signaling the motorist to slow down or wait before overtaking they should do so as the rider will be trying to avoid an accident for both parties. http://think.direct.gov.uk/horses.html

9. The farmyard is not a playground. To a child the farmyard may seem like an adventure land with the machinery and bales of straw to climb. However, there are many unforeseen dangers and children should always be supervised while walking through farmyards and fields. Walkers should remember to stick to paths and not go into barns which are private. The farmer will not expect visitors in these private areas so barns may not be made safe.
http://www.hse.gov.uk/agriculture/index.htm

10. Plan ahead. Britain is one of the safest countries in the world, yet it is still advisable that visitors walk with a companion and/or take a cell phone. They should tell someone where they are going and what time they expect to return. The weather is variable in the U.K. so check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/weather/

If respected, the countryside is a wonderful place to be, see wildlife and take some exercise. Visitors should remember though, in England, unlike Scotland, there is no, "right to roam". Walkers should stick to marked pathways and remember, for visitors, the country may be a place to let off steam and relax; but for the farmer, it is their livelihood.

Editor's Note: The appearance of off-base locations/attractions/activities/events does not constitute endorsement by RAF Mildenhall, the U.S. Air Force or the Department of Defense of the location/attraction/activity/event, its external website or the information, products or services contained therein.