As lockdown eases and we start to spend more time outdoors this summer, we are asking all visitors to #Lovedurham safely and please be responsible when exploring Durham’s beautiful countryside, coast, parks and open spaces. 

couple walking through the Durham Dales on a sunny day

Plan Ahead 

• Plan ahead by checking what facilities are open – some of the county’s facilities including toilets and food & drink outlets remain closed or have reduced opening times.  

• Some places will be busier than others, why not explore somewhere new? You’ll find lots of hidden gems across the county. 

• Plan to visit earlier or later in the day, or during the week to avoid busier areas and attractions.  

• Check ahead for what car parking is open and plan a travel route in advance. 

family walking through Hardwick Park in the Vale of Durham

When visiting Durham's outdoors we are asking all visitors to please follow the Countryside Code. This ensures everyone gets to enjoy the countryside, whilst respecting local people and helping to protect the local environment and animals. 

If you visit the countryside during the coronavirus pandemic, you should follow Gov.uk: The Countryside Code.

Respect other people

• Consider the local community - keep a safe distance from people’s homes and farms.

• Consider other people enjoying the outdoors - always keep 2 metres apart from those outside your group. 

• Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear, and always ensure there is access for emergency service vehicles. 

• Close gates behind you and leave property as you find them.

• Follow paths but give way to others where it's narrow.

• Pay by contactless card where ever possible.

sunrise over the cliffs of the Durham Heritage Coast

Enjoy the outdoors

• Follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures.

• Wash or sanitise your hands regularly

• Check weather forecasts before you leave 

• Be prepared – do you have the right gear?

family stood admiring Gibson's Cave in the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB

Protect the natural environment

• Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home. Litter and leftover food doesn’t just spoil the beauty of the countryside, it can be dangerous to wildlife and farm animals. If you are caught littering you may be fined as much as £2,500.

• Don't have BBQs or fires - fire can be dangerous and BBQs can damage the grass.

• Be respectful of wildlife - watch birds and animals from a distance.

• Keep dogs under effective control at all times - always ensure your dog doesn’t disturb wildlife, farm animals, horses or other people. 

• Clean up after your dog - bag it and bin it! You could be fined as much as £1,000 if you don't clean up your dog's poo.

Click here to download the full Countryside Code leaflet>

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