THE Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has written to the Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP, calling for the Countryside Code to be taught in schools.

It comes following reports of worrying incidents taking place in rural areas as the country emerges from the Covid-19 crisis. These include fly-tipping, littering, trespassing, country lanes being blocked, gates being left open, dogs chasing livestock and a lack of social distancing.

CLA President Mark Bridgeman said: “The countryside is a wonderful place and we want to see everybody enjoy it. But we also want them to be safe, and respect the countryside as a place of work. A lack of education on how to treat the countryside has left a generation without a basic understanding of what is an acceptable and indeed necessary standard of behaviour in a rural, working environment which produces food for the nation. We all have a part of to play in improving that understanding, but help in the classroom would be a great start.With the recent problems arising, including the tragic death of another walker attacked by cattle, we strongly believe this is the right time to get the Countryside Code into classrooms. There is an opportunity for lessons to be learned from the crisis."