Image of sunset shining through trees in the countryside
Macclesfield Forest and the beautiful countryside surrounding Sutton Parish has always attracted many visitors, who enjoy activities such as walking, birdwatching, cycling and horse riding.  
A new, refreshed Countryside Code has been launched by Natural England and Natural Resources Wales, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the creation of the founding booklet. 
With more people enjoying the outdoors than ever before, the code has been revised to help people enjoy countryside in a safe and respectful way. 
The first Countryside Code booklet was published in 1951. This update - the first in over a decade - has been shaped by nearly 4,000 stakeholder responses to an online survey, which sought views on best practices for visiting the countryside and protecting the natural environment and saw a huge response. 
Changes include: 
Advice on creating a welcoming environment, for example by saying hello to fellow visitors;  
Clearer rules to underline the importance of clearing away dog poo;  
Staying on footpaths; and not feeding livestock.  
It also provides advice on how to seek permissions for activities such as wild swimming. 
Key changes to the Countryside Code include: 
A refreshed tone of voice, creating a guide for the public rather than a list of rules – recognising the significant health and wellbeing benefits of spending time in nature. New wording to make clear that the code applies to all our natural places, including parks and waterways, coast and countryside. 
The recent lockdowns have meant that the numbers visiting the countryside has increased and some families are visiting for the first time. Sutton Parish Council are working with our partners and local residents to promote the Countryside Code and a “share with care” approach to enjoying the countryside. 
If you, your friends or family are thinking about a trip out into the countryside make sure you check out @NaturalEngland’s or The Countryside Code for guidance on how to enjoy, respect and protect the natural environment and livestock. 
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