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Stay safe in the countryside

In the summer dry vegetation creates an added risk of a fire starting in
the countryside. Every year, fire destroys thousands of acres of countryside
and wildlife habitats. Some fires are started deliberately, but most are due to

Follow these tips to reduce the chance of a wildfire in the countryside:

  • Extinguish cigarettes properly and don’t throw cigarette ends on the ground;
  • Never throw cigarette ends out of car windows;
  • Don’t leave bottles or glass in woodland – sunlight shining through glass can start fires (take them home and recycle them);
  • Take your litter home;
  • Only use barbecues in a suitable and safe area (see our advice on BBQs) and never leave them unattended;
  • Avoid using open fires in the countryside.  Always have them in safe designated areas;
  • If you see a fire in the countryside, report it to the fire and rescue service immediately;
  • Don’t attempt to tackle fires that can’t be put out with a bucket of water – leave the area as quickly as possible;
  • If you can, prepare for the arrival of the fire and rescue service at the pre-arranged meeting point, by unlocking gates, etc.

The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside. Most of it is just good common sense, designed to help us all to respect, protect and enjoy our countryside.

The Code, updated in 2012, makes it clear what the responsibilities are for both the public and the people who manage the land. It has information about rights, responsibilities and liabilities and how we all have a duty to protect the countryside.  Together with common sense, it helps to make it easy for visitors to act responsibly and identify possible dangers.

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