I feel like a stuck record at this time of year because I always seem to write a post that (I hope) asks politely for people to be extra vigilante when strolling through the countryside. Most people are respectful and understand the laws of the land, morally and legally, but there are the minority that spoil it. Every holidays, and often in between, we see families with young children and dogs OFF LEAD wandering through our fields full of livestock. Unfortunately for us, there is a right of way through one of our livestock fields which means we can't physically stop people walking in that particular field. The countryside is there for everyone to enjoy; it is a beautiful environment littered with wildlife, stunning scenery and interesting discoveries. But a field full of livestock is not a playground. It is a field full of livestock.
There are rules which, in my opinion, could be stricter, but I'm a hard woman to please. I love the countryside with a passion and want to protect it, and I'm sure the visitors who grace its environment are lovers of the countryside, too. People spend money in the countryside; apart from farming, tourism is a massive industry that keeps people in work and assists in giving holiday makers a memorable time. The area in which I live is no exception. We rely heavily on the tourism industry to help our economy and it's wonderful to see people enjoying the fresh air and the surrounding area, watching children have a fabulous time and seeing dogs being given their much needed exercise.
All we ask in return is that people respect that this is our home. The sheep in our fields are our livelihood. The fields are serving a purpose. Enjoy your visit to the countryside and remember that we love having you. But please spare a thought for your dogs off lead and your free-roaming children, because believe me, a ewe with lambs will not.
Oh, and don't forget to close the gates.