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We all know that our four-legged friends, or pets of any kind, can bring happiness, company and a way to keep fit. But with dog ownership comes responsibility, too.

Graeme Hall, presenter of Dogs Behaving (Very) Badly and regular Countryside columnist has thrown his weight behind the NFU's campaign to help educate and remind dog owners of their responsibility when walking near sheep and lambs. Click here to see his short film on how to walk your dogs safely and enjoyably in the countryside.

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With plenty of rain and grass, Britain’s climate produces delicious beef, and Great British Beef Week, starting today, gives us a great opportunity to shout about this superb product. And if you click here you can discover five ways to back British beef, plus links to a range of delicious beef recipes.


April is the month when you never quite know whether it will be a classic spring or an early heatwave… or something in between, says Pippa Greenwood. But whatever the weather, take the time to appreciate April's colourful bounty and follow Pippa's advice here on spring gardening.

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Fly-tipping is a real blight on our countryside and is on the increase. The NFU says enough is enough and is encouraging people to sign an open letter to the Police and Crime Commissioners demanding action to tackle fly-tipping now. Click here to sign and help to make a difference to our countryside.

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Lambing is now well under way around the UK and sheep farmers are working around the clock to ensure the safe arrival of their lambs, many of which are now happily gambolling in the fields around us. But how much do you know about what it takes to be a sheep farmer? Click here to find out more.

Quiz challenge

Try your hand at our fun countryside quiz. Click here for the answers

1. What is a group of pheasants called?

2. How many times better is a dog's hearing than a human's?

3. What is a baby alpaca called?

4. Which four species of animals does the Queen technically own?

5. What hardworking type of animal in George Orwell’s Animal Farm is Boxer?

6. Owls are zygodactyl. What does that mean?

With the warmer weather, we're all getting out into our gardens, so we've got some great competitions for you. We're giving away 25 pairs of ClipGloves from Treadstone, vouchers for beautiful peony plants, decking oil and a great gardening bundle. You can enter the competitions here. 

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With outdoor shows now opening up, we're delighted to be able to give members the chance to win a family ticket to the Blenheim Palace Flower Show. The event is taking place on 25-27 June in the magnificent surrounding of one of the country's greatest stately homes. Find out more here.  

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