The basic rules of the Countryside Code are not being followed as we come out of lockdown, says Devon and Cornwall Police.

The Countryside Code is a set of simple rules which guide users of the coast and countryside to 'Respect, Protect and Enjoy'.

However, when this guidance isn’t followed, crimes occur, and community tension can develop.

PC Kerry Whitting, a rural affairs officer in Devon, said: "Since the onset of Covid-19, and as the country moves into ‘recovery’, we have seen a huge increase in the amount of people visiting our force area.

"This has placed an enormous pressure on the countryside, and it has become increasingly obvious that the basic principles of the code are not being followed by some visitors or are simply not understood."

Issues have included littering, the lighting of fires, livestock worrying, and general anti-social behaviour such as the blocking of lanes and driveways and human waste being left in gardens and rural spaces as a result of ‘wild-camping’.

Earlier in the month, Dartmoor National Park Authority placed a temporary ban on ‘wild camping’ due to a surge in related issues across the moor.

As a result of these ongoing issues, the rural affairs team has been engaging with a wide variety of key partners and agencies.

Kerry said: "Over the summer months we will be delivering a campaign designed to get the message of the Countryside Code out to as many people as possible.

"Strategies will include the use of social media, targeted input aimed at pre and post teens and direct promotion by partner agencies and key businesses within the industry.

"We will be linking into our neighbourhood beat teams, who already have strong links within the local rural communities and will be ideally placed to assist with this initiative. We will also be spreading the message via our alert scheme to all our watch members."

For full, abbreviated and Covid-19 versions of the Countryside Code visit