The Country Code

An understanding of the spirit and content of the Country Code and practical observance of its terms is an important part of an Award Venture. Assessors will be as careful to watch for infringements of the code as they will be to watch for faulty route finding and poor camp craft.

1. Enjoy the Countryside and Respect its Life and Work.

The public is on trust in the countryside.  Respect the property and the livelihood of those living in rural areas.  Get the landowners permission before camping.

2. Guard Against All Risk of Fire.

Permission must always be obtained before lighting a fire.  Most camp sites no longer allow camp fires.

3. Fasten all Gates.

A gate should be walked through and not climbed over and the last person in the group should carefully re-fasten the gate.  Farmers on occasions leave gates in an open position for the movement of livestock, from one field to another. 

You should generally leave a gate in the position that it was found, unless it is obvious that by being open livestock are in danger, perhaps from vehicles on a road.  There is seldom any excuse for crossing a wall or fence by any other way than by the stile or gate provided.

4.  Keep to Public Paths Across Farmland.

In the more cultivated areas of the country, footpaths must be followed carefully.  On narrow paths and across fields, particularly if crops are growing keep in single file.

5.  Leave Livestock, Crops and Machinery Alone.

6.  Take your Litter Home.

All camp litter, tins and bottles,paper and uneaten food must be removed from the site and deposited in a litter bin or other place provided by the camp site owners. It is not acceptable to bury rubbish as it is a danger to animals, or to burn it as this leaves an unsightly patch. Even the odd match stick counts as litter and a good camper should, “leave nothing behind but their thanks.”

7.  Help to Keep all Water Clean.

Many rural communities use stream water direct. When away from a recognised camp site any dirty washing-up water should be poured into a hole, made by removing a piece of turf. Dirty or greasy water must never be thrown back into the stream and personal washing should be done away from the source of drinking water.

8.  Protect Wildlife, Plants and Trees.

Remember that there should be little or no evidence of the fact that an expedition has passed through or camped in the area.  Make no un-necessary noise.

10. Take Special Care on Country Roads.

These are usually narrow and winding and should be avoided wherever possible.  If it is necessary to use them for short distances keep to the right and walk in single file.  Beware of sharp right hand bends and hills and dips in the road.  These may prevent you from seeing oncoming traffic and you may need to cross and walk on the left until you have clear vision. 

Be seen, wear a bright article of clothing  (hat, scarf shirt etc.).  This is particularly important for the person in front and at the rear of the group.