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The Countryside Code: CBBC Newsround

In the image, CBBC Newsround presenter, Shanequa Paris, stands in front of a small group of primary school children, who are sitting on a bench. One child is sat within a wheelchair. The children wear high visibility jackets. Around them, the camera and sound crew hold cameras and boom mics. All are within a small park and discussing the Countryside Code.
Image: Natural England

By Bruce Cutts

Senior Advisor, Natural England

The Countryside Code is a guide to the outdoors. Whether you’re in the countryside, enjoying the coast, our waterways or an urban park, it’s there to help guide all of us through nature.

Since the refresh of the Code in 2021, Natural England has been active in promoting the Code’s messages through ongoing campaign activity. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people, and a partnership with Shaun, a very well-known sheep!

Back in September we secured a fantastic opportunity with CBBC Newsround to feature the Countryside Code and share our messages which aim to help young people learn about protecting and enjoying outdoor spaces.

In the image, Shanequa Paris sits with Debbie North on a picnic bench as they discuss the Code. A camera man stands before them filming.
Image: Natural England

The Countryside Code team worked with Debbie North from Access the Dales, a charity dedicated to improving access to the countryside.  Through Debbie, we engaged with Highbury Primary School – a specialist school providing specialist education for children with a wide range of complex educational needs and disabilities between the ages of 4-11.

Before the filming took place Debbie had developed a version of the Code which would be more suited to Autistic children, with adapted Countryside Code messaging to share with the children of Highbury Primary School. This version is also now available on the resource pages of the Countryside Code website. 

Picture shows a screenshot of the resources which are available to download on the Countryside Code website, which have been adapted to be more suitable for children and young people with Autism.
Resources available on the Countryside Code website

On the day of filming, Debbie and I took a group of children, and presenter Shanequa Paris, on a walk around Shibden Hall and talked to them about various elements of the Countryside Code, such as not dropping litter, saying hello to people, and leaving gates how you find them. We also emphasised that the countryside is for everyone to enjoy and that everyone has a role to play in protecting it.

Tailoring our responses to the Newsround audience was quite a challenge to begin with, for me anyway, but I hope we were able to explain the essence of the Code. Which is essentially, regardless of people’s needs, the outdoors is for everyone.

Image: Natural England

The children at Highbury Primary School had a great day learning for themselves the Code’s importance for respecting, protecting, and enjoying time in nature. Opportunities such as these highlight the necessity of spending time outdoors for both mental and physical wellbeing; the Code is a tool to help people get there.

You can watch the clip on the BBC iPlayer here:

Shaun the Sheep helps teach children how to look after nature - BBC Newsround


The Countryside Code team at Natural England are leading on the public information campaign to promote the messages of the Code. If you are interested in hearing more on the campaign we issue a quarterly newsletter (next edition due at the end of November) – if you would like to be added to the mailing list please email

For more information on the Countryside Code, visit our website


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