Wotton Trails

Family Centered Walking Trails: Seeing Wotton one Step at a Time...

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Staying Safe in the Countryside

When we designed our routes, we purposefully chose the safest routes possible. However, it’s very important that all participants follow these very simple rules to stay safe!

Respect Others

Once you leave the town centre, you’ll be walking through woods and fields that are all independently owned by different third-parties. It’s important that you stay to the public footpath through these areas and respect others (especially farmers that earn their living from these areas).

Make sure that you don’t block any access points or gates when parking your vehicle. Avoid parking along any long verges on country roads as it means farm vehicles and emergency services might struggle to park. Ideally, please park in the Chipping car park in the town centre. Find the Start Point.

Leave gates and property as you find them.

A farmer might shut gates to keep any animals in (or intentionally leave them open so animals can move between). Respect the wishes of the farmer and make sure you leave gates as you find them and follow specific instructions on signs.

All our paths are signed with waymarkers and shown on our map. If you decide to leave our routes and explore, make sure you stick to public footpaths and bridleways. If a sign says ‘private’ or ‘no entry’, please respect the wishes of the owner and find another route. If you suspect there’s a new sign that affects our route or your access to a waymarker, please skip this post on our website and let us now. Contact us.

Leave farm equipment and animals alone. If you spot a problem (such as an animal in distress) try to notify the local farmer or get in touch with us and we’ll try to let them know. Contact us.

Along the route, there’s a few nature reserves and historic sites. Try to stick to the paths around and through these to help us protect them.

Use gates, styles and gaps in hedgerows rather than trying to climb fences, walls or hedges. This can damage them and increase the risk of animals escaping.

Leave No Trace of your Visit

Although bug hunting and looking for minibeasts under rocks and logs can be fun, make sure you return anything you’ve moved to where you found it: it’s their home after all! Never snap or pull parts of plants and trees: It could damage the plant and stop it from growing.

Take all litter home with you or dispose of it in bins around the town. Litter not only ruins the countryside for others, but also can be very dangerous to forest life. This includes any leftover food.

Fires can be extremely damaging to all wildlife, be extremely careful with any naked flames and cigarette ends (dispose of these in designated bins). If you see an out of control fire, call 999 immediately.

Dogs

All our routes are suitable for dogs: you might even read about some fictional ones in our stories! Make sure that you are a responsible dog owner at all times.

Respect the wishes of any shops and businesses by leaving your dog outside if asked to. Always check first if you’re unsure.

Dogs are permitted to be off leads in the woods; although please be make sure you always have your dog in sight and are aware of what it is doing. Make sure it is able to return to you promptly on command. Ensure it stays on the same paths as you and does not stray into any private property.

Be respectful of other people by keeping your dog close when around other people and their animals. Around any farm animals, it is highly important that you keep your dog on a lead and respect the wishes of the farmers. A farmer may shoot a dog that is distressing farm animals.

Even on wild paths, make sure you pick up any dog mess, bag it and dispose of it correctly in a bin. It ruins the scenery for others, can cause infections and could even harm wildlife.

Bikes

The woods are also a popular destination for cycling. Some areas of our routes are probably slightly too steep for cycling and often involve passing through small gates. However, there’s plenty of routes throughout the woods including specially built ramps and jumps to explore. Make sure you know what’s ahead and always have someone with you who can call an ambulance – just in case.

When walking be aware of any fast moving bikes and kindly step aside to let them pass.

Horses and Other Animals Animals

Our routes purposefully avoid going through any cattle fields. If you choose to walk through any of these by yourself, do so at your own risk. Make sure to give animals a wide berth and keep your dog under control.

Towards the end of the route, you will walk through a small field with 5 ponies. They are generally very friendly and can be stroked, although please don’t feed them. Follow any signage from the farmer and stick to the path as best you can.

It's important to remember that Horses can be dangerous animals. Make sure you approach them slowly and quietly so you don't scare them. If you need to go closer to a horse, make sure you approach them head on and don't walk behind them.

You might see small animals such as squirrels and birds in the woods. Stay quiet and you might be able to get close. Don't feed them or try to touch them - they might bite!

Countryside Code

For more information on the countryside code. Visit the government website*

*Outbound Link

Get in touch

If you have any concerns or suspect something's up, email us at info@wottontrails.co.uk.

In the event of an emergency, always call 999. Remember this will take you straight to the emergency services.

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