The Country Code

We would ask that you always take care to respect the wildlife and work of the countryside through the 'Countryside Code'.
  • Enjoy the countryside and respect its life and work
  • Guard against risk of fire
  • Fasten all gates
  • Keep your dogs under close control and clear up mess on or near paths
  • Keep to public paths across farmland
  • Use gates and stiles to cross fences, hedges and walls
  • Leave livestock, crops and machinery alone
  • Take your litter home
  • Help to keep all water clean
  • Protect wildlife, plants and trees
  • Take special care on country roads
  • Make no unnecessary noise

What to wear and bring

Sensible footwear is essential. For all countryside walks, it is advisable to wear walking boots or stout footwear. Trainers are not really suitable, except for cycle rides and town walks. Warm and waterproof clothing may also be needed.

Public rights of way

West Sussex County Council has the responsibility for the rights of way network and the compilation of the definitive maps showing the routes. With over 4000 km (2,500 miles) of rights of way in West Sussex, there are more miles of paths than roads in the County!

The network is inspected every 18 months and is well signposted at roads and junctions of paths and bridleways with wooden finger posts at difficult points or changes in direction.

There are three types of rights of way. Footpaths - available to walkers, Bridleways - available to walkers, horseriders and cyclists, Byways - available to all, including vehicles.

The Rights of Way team in the County Planning Department is responsible for their management. If you have any problems or queries concerning the network, please contact West Sussex County Council, Planning Department, Tower Street, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1RL, or telephone

Public Rights of Way enquiries: 01243 777928
Legal queries on Rights of way: 01243 777196

Countryside Sites Projects and Ranger Services:
High Weald Area Manager: 01243 756847
Low Weald Area Manager: 01243 756863

Dog fouling

The majority of dog owners in Mid Sussex are responsible, pick up their dogs' mess and keep them under proper control. However, there is a small minority who don't and this can create problems for other site users.  To address these concerns relating to dog control, Mid Sussex District Council have introduced Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO's) under the Anti Social, Crime and Policing Act 2014.