Visiting the countryside

A visit to the countryside is one of life’s greatest pleasures, with recognised benefits for health and wellbeing. Some people visit for recreation, some plan specifically for animal contact, such as open farms, country or farm parks, whilst for others the countryside is their place of work or livelihood.

Diseases that transfer from animals to humans are called Zoonoses or Zoonotic organisms and these may cause serious disease such as E.coli and Lyme disease caused by ticks.

When visiting the countryside we need to make sure that we follow guidance to prevent disease spreading from animals to humans.

  • Scottish Outdoor Access code – advice for members of the public and land managers around farm animals health and biosecurity and preventing spread of disease via animal waste.
  • Infection prevention and control - offers advice on washing your hands, drinking clean water, being tick aware and cleaning up after yourself and your pets.


Visitor attractions

Owners, operators and managers of visitor attractions with animal contact should follow the specific infection control guidance and code of practice for visitor attractions and open farms to ensure they protect the public. This also covers farm parks, working farms with livestock, agricultural shows, country fairs with livestock, rare bread farms and rescue centres.


Further information

A list of countryside and outdoor organisations in Scotland and UK is available as a resource.