Know Your Code: Merrell Reimagines The Countryside Code

Know Your Code: Merrell Reimagines The Countryside Code

Know Your Code: Merrell Reimagines The Countryside Code

Written By: Merrell

As the UK experiences a cultural and societal shift towards more time being spent outdoors and a population that has become increasingly environmentally conscious, new research reveals that half of Brits have never heard of the Countryside Code.

The Countryside Code is a mainstay of the great outdoors in the UK and offers advice on how to enjoy a visit to the countryside and how to protect it by acting responsibly.

You can learn more about the countryside code and why it’s important here, but new research from one of our favourite outdoor footwear brands, Merrell, shows that almost half of UK adults were completely unaware of the Code. In fact, one in ten adults believed the Countryside Code was a book by a popular author!


Merrell’s study showed that 83% of people in the UK are becoming more concerned about nature and green spaces and 75% mentioned that they are spending more time outside since the pandemic. This increase in interest has led to young people discovering the benefits of the outdoors, with 43% of 18–35-year-olds stating that a visit to the countryside improves their mood and wellbeing.

However, results from the survey also suggested that while 83% of 18-35 year-olds are more likely to spend time in the countryside now than before the pandemic, this younger generation are actually less clued up when it comes to outdoor etiquette, with almost two thirds (64%) of 16–24-year-olds polled claiming to not have heard of the statutory guidance.


A new campaign by Merrell, entitled Know Your Code, aims to promote the guidelines in a modern and engaging way as well as helping to educate on the importance of outdoor activity as visits to the countryside increase.

  1. What’s your sign? Get to know the signs and symbols.

  2. Waste time, not litter. Take it home.

  3. Stay out of farm’s way - keep off farmland.

  4. Stay in your lane - stick to public footpaths.

  5. Slow down, take it easy. Be extra safe on country roads.

  6. No smoke or fire, no ifs or butts. Don’t risk any fires.

  7. Mess with mates not gates - leave all gates as you found them.

  8. Keep your friends close and your pooch closer. Make sure your dog is with you all the time.

  9. Have some respect! Be extra nice to everyone you see.

  10. Have a wild time! Make the most of it.

  11. Go some place quiet. Keep it down for others

  12. Expect the best! Prepare for the worst! Know your route whatever the weather.

  13. Be as nice to nature as it is to you. Protect wildlife, plants and water sources.

  14. Don’t crop a feel. Don’t touch crops, animals or machines

Simon Sweeney, UK Marketing Manager at Merrell, said:

The Know Your Code project brings colour and dynamism to the guidelines and this modern take will help educate more people how to be kind to nature and the environment in rural spaces.

The last two years has given many of us the opportunity to reconnect with nature and experience the great outdoors again. The new Code serves as a fun and friendly reminder to be as nice to nature as it is to us.


Respect other people

  • Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
  • Park carefully so access to gateways and driveways are clear
  • Leave gates and property as you find them
  • Follow paths but give way to others where it is narrow

Protect the natural environment

  • Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home
  • Do not have BBQs or fires
  • Keep dogs under effective control
  • Dog poo – bag it and bin it

Enjoy the outdoors

  • Plan ahead, check what facilities are open, be prepared
  • Follow advice and local signs and obey social distancing measures

About Merrell

Founded in 1981 in Vermont, United States by Randy Merrell and Clark Matis, Merrell is now the world’s No. 1 rugged outdoor footwear brand* with products distributed in over 190 countries. Merrell products are built on our heritage of quality and performance. Our stylish product and innovative technologies deliver ready to wear comfort and performance.

About Adapt

Adapt is a creative studio, using design, humour and contemporary culture to communicate environmental and social issues. Adapt's aim is to share knowledge, encourage action and build a community of motivated activists through campaigns and collaborations.


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