Devon & Cornwall Police are reminding people to respect and protect rural communities and businesses this Easter, when exploring the countryside.
With the tourism season traditionally starting over the Easter holidays, Cornwall and Devon’s population can increase by around a third.
Cornwall’s Rural Affairs Officer for Devon & Cornwall Police, PC Chris Collins said: “We’d like to encourage people to take extra care when they explore the countryside this Easter to help protect our environment, our wildlife and our historic landmarks.
“We ask that people observe any rural safety signage they see, respect wildlife and livestock by ensuring dogs are kept on leads and please leave no negative footprint behind. Cornwall is home to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which is unique and totals almost a third of Cornwall’s area.
“Sadly during the holiday periods, we can see an increase in incidents such as livestock worrying and anti-social behaviour. Our aim is to reduce these incidents and we will continue to work with partners and communities to identify and aim to prevent unlawful events, to protect our historic land and communities.”
“It is also important that people remember that when they walk across the countryside, all land is owned and any abuse of access has a significant impact on landowners, farmers, livestock, and wildlife and this can often lead to conflict between users.”
We ask that people follow the countryside code to protect our beautiful landscape so that everyone can enjoy it.
Below are useful resources and tips to keep our rural communities safe:
Follow the countryside code and be considerate to those living there, working there and enjoying the countryside. View the Countryside Code here; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ8ilOD1wh0
Follow local signs and marked routes, leave gates as you find them and do not block access when parking. Keep to marked paths to protect crops and wildlife.
Be cautious when driving on rural roads, give livestock and other vulnerable road users plenty of space and remember to pass slowly and wide. Devon and Cornwall Police - Rural Crime - Rural Road Safety - YouTube
Do not feed livestock, horses or wild animals as it can cause them harm. Sheep are especially vulnerable at this time of year, so always keep dogs under control. On open access land, dogs should be kept on a lead at all times, but release your dog if chased by cattle. Devon and Cornwall Police - Rural Crime - Livestock Worrying - YouTube
Protect the environment and historic features and take litter home. Avoid the risk of wildfire by not lighting fires or BBQ’s. Devon and Cornwall Police - Rural Crime - Heritage Crime - YouTube
PC Collins added “We all have a responsibility to protect our open spaces, I would urge visitors to respect the countryside and be considerate to our rural communities. Enjoy the countryside but keep yourself safe, plan your visit, check the weather, tides, and local conditions. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.”