Take great care around livestock

Never enter fields with young calves - the mothers are fiercely protective.
Never enter fields with young calves - the mothers are fiercely protective.

When taking your dog for a country ramble, you should follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and here are just a few simple rules to follow.

Around livestock make sure your dog is under control and on a short lead. If you do have to walk through a field with livestock then keep as far away as possible and ensure that your dog does not cause any sort of stress to the animals.

If cattle become aggressive then keep calm, let the dog go and take the safest route out of the field.

Never let your dog worry livestock. Apart from the serious risk of injury from dog bites, farm animals may not survive the stress or exhaustion of a relentless dog chase.

Pregnant cows or sheep may lose their calves or lambs if chased and your dog could end up being shot by the farmer.

Never take your dog into a field with any young animals, even if there is a right of way. Look for alternative routes where your dog will not cause any stress to livestock.

Cows with young calves to protect can be extremely aggressive and may cause injuries to you or your dog.

Only walk in crop fields that have a clear path or right of way or a field margin that has not been planted.

When walking in the country always make sure you pick up your dog’s faeces and take it with you until you find a suitable bin.

Between April and July remember that there could be ground nesting birds on moorlands, grasslands, forests and shore lines. Keep your dog to heel or on a short lead to avoid disturbing the birds.

For more information on the right to roam in Scotland go to www.outdooraccess-scotland.com.

On the English side of the Tweed, there are different access rules and it is advisable to keep to public footpaths, which are mostly marked with green signs, or designated Open Access areas.