Accessing Countryside in May

The countryside of Perth & Kinross is picturesque and the landscape is enjoyed by both residents and visitors. Much of the landscape we see is mostly man-made, created by people working in the countryside.

People accessing the countryside can help these land managers by acting responsibly ensuring their actions don’t hinder land management operations. Similarly land managers can help people accessing the countryside, by acting responsibly ensuring their actions don’t hinder people visiting the countryside for recreational purposes.

To help out we’ve put together a list of what’s happening in May and a little bit of advice from the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

  • Many fields and hilly areas will have lambs present.
  • Cattle are returned outside in fields.
  • Bulls are put out in fields with suckler cow herds in most areas and may be there until late summer.
  • Most livestock is kept out of grass fields for hay and silage so you will generally find these gates closed.
  • Seasonal grazing starts so fields that had no livestock since October may suddenly have a herd of cows in them.
  • Remember cows with calves, and not just bulls, are unpredictable and dangerous. Like children, young cattle can be inquisitive & boisterous too. Keep a sensible distance from all animals, particularly where calves are present, and avoid disturbance. 
  • Watch out for farm vehicles working on the land as turnips and swedes are sown at this time of year for feeding to livestock in winter.
  • Cultivation and sowing of crops is under way in some areas.
  • Fields are ploughed then sown with grass seed.
  • Some fields of grass are not grazed but are left to grow for hay, which is not cut until the summer 
  • When grass has just been sown, treat it like any other crop by using any paths or tracks provided, the field margin, unsown ground or look for an alternative route.
  • In hay and silage crops you can exercise access rights unless the grass is at such a late stage of growth that it might be damaged. A “late stage of growth” is when the grass is about 8 inches (20cm.) high. In such cases, use paths or tracks if there are any or go along the field margins.
  • After a silage cut, grass will be fertilised with nitrogen or spread with farmyard manure or slurry . The chemicals in spray treatments and bacteria in slurry can be dangerous to your health – so please follow any advice asking you to avoid using particular routes or areas at these times.
  • May falls within the breeding season of many ground nesting birds in woodlands, moorland, grassland, loch shores and the seashore
  • Field margins may be important for conservation and ground-nesting birds, so be careful when taking access in field margins.
  • Take care to keep dogs on a short lead or under close control, stick to paths when asked to do so, and don’t linger if you are disturbing birds.
  • Deer control can take place within forests all year round, often around dawn and dusk.
  • Help to minimise disturbance by taking extra care at these times and by following signs and notices, if deer stalking is taking place.

For more information please visit http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/

We hope your visit to the countryside in May.

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