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Please Close the Gate

Please visit us

We live in such a beautiful part of the country here in north Northumberland and we want people to come and enjoy all that it has to offer: the open spaces, the fresh air, the dark skies, the wildlife and flowers.

It’s a joy to see children especially delighting in the surroundings.

We want everyone to have a good time.

Please protect and respect

So that everyone – including future generations – can continue to enjoy our wonderful countryside, we need everyone to protect and respect the landscape and the animals and people who live here.

Please close the gate

We’ve been contacted recently by a local farmer who, quite rightly, is becoming frustrated because visitors to the area are not closing gates behind them. This has been a particular problem on the walking routes from behind the Powburn Play Area and along the disused railway line following the Shawdon Burn, and routes towards Titlington and Titlington Pike. These routes cross farmland and there are several gates.

Recently, it appears that these routes have become popular with cyclists. It seems that when some cyclists dismount to open gates to pass through, that they are then not closing the gates behind them.

Danger to livestock and road users

Clearly, the gates are closed for a reason – to keep livestock in.

If the gates are left open there is a very real danger that the cows that are currently enclosed could stray onto the busy A697 road. It doesn’t take too much of a stretch of the imagination to think what could then happen: the cows are black in colour, and so less easily seen in low light conditions. The results could be disastrous.

Follow the Countryside Code

As well as reminding ourselves about the need to close gates behind us when enjoying the countryside, could we also please encourage parents/guardians to remind the children and young people they are responsible for to always close gates as well.

The need to do this is clearly set out in the UK Government’s Countryside Code:

Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available

A farmer will normally close gates to keep farm animals in, but may sometimes leave them open so the animals can reach food and water. Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs. When in a group, make sure the last person knows how to leave the gates.

Use gates, stiles or gaps in field boundaries if you can – climbing over walls, hedges and fences can damage them and increase the risk of farm animals escaping.

‘The Countryside Code’ DEFRA, 2016

Respect – Protect – Enjoy

It would be very much appreciated if everyone visiting our beautiful countryside could please remember to close gates behind them and, thereby, prevent any, potentially serious, accidents.

Thank you!

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