Taking care of the countryside

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Responsible public access to the countryside is now enshrined in Scottish law, writes George Hogg (Hogg Estate Services).

This gives us all the right to wander where we wish, so long as we also respect the rights of land owners, farmers and others upon whose livelihood our presence or actions may impact.

Unfortunately, the gulf between town and country has been widening for so long now, many folk just do not know enough about the wide outdoors to realise when they are doing harm.

Take dry stone walls for instance.

If someone climbing over a wall accidentally knocks off a top stone and fails to replace it, the gap created will attract the next walker in search of a crossing point.Before you know it the gap grows

ever larger the more it gets used.

If only the first person had replaced that first fallen stone.

We all know you should leave a gate as you find it but that presupposes the folk passing before you did the same.

Another example of lost knowledge is the way folk no longer know you should climb a gate at the hinged end to minimise leverage on the hinges.

Above all it is now nesting season and many ground nesting birds have eggs or chicks.

Disturbance by out-of-control dogs is an annual problem which shows no sign of abating.

Be a responsible countryside user.