THE PUBLIC have been urged to behave responsibly in the countryside when lockdown measures begin to lift from today, Thursday, May 28.

As Scotland enters 'Phase 1' in easing Covid-19 restrictions, NFU Scotland is asking countryside-goers to care and respect for those living and working in rural areas.

NFUS head of policy team Gemma Cooper said: "The public have been urged to keep all dogs under control and lift dog poo as well as not disturb farm animals or wildlife. Walkers are asked not to cause damage to young arable crops or fields of long grass being grown for silage and hay and to avoid farmyards, buildings and to not block access with their cars. As well as being told to close all gates, the public have been urged to adhere to signage requests and take all litter home."

NFU Scotland has produced a poster for farmers and crofters urging care to be taken by those accessing the countryside during this exceptional period.

The link can be downloaded for print here -

Describing the poster, Ms Cooper said: “For many, accessing the countryside during lockdown has been a new experience. We want to help guide them on how to continue to do that responsibly and safely in Phase 1, recognising the legitimate concerns of those who are farming and crofting in these unprecedented times.

“To fulfil our pledge to keep Scotland’s plates and glasses full throughout this crisis, we need farmers, crofters, their families and staff to stay safe, healthy and able to get on with the job of producing food and drink," she continued.

“We respectfully ask that people please follow these simple guidelines in the poster. It will assist the many people taking access in the countryside and receive the thanks of all living and working in the countryside at this challenging time,” she concluded.

The union also hopes that the reopening of domestic recycling centres during Phase 1 will end the 'blight of irresponsible fly-tipping' seen nationwide during lockdown.