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Due to essential maintenance, the following systems will be unavailable from 6.00pm on Monday 2 October until 8.00am on Tuesday 3 October: our online council tax, business rates and housing benefit services, and our welfare assistance form. You will also not be able to register to pay council tax online, make a change of address for council tax or cancel single person discount. You are still able to make a payment during this time. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Visit our countryside

County Durham has some of the most beautiful countryside and coastal landscapes in Britain. It is home to a huge variety of plants and animals, and the area has a fascinating historical and geological heritage.

Countryside events and guided walks

We have something for all tastes in our countryside programme. Come and explore with us through a variety of activities or find out more about our Guided countryside walks (from one mile easy strolls to 15 mile hikes).

Where can I visit?

There are many countryside sites available to visit depending on what your interests are.

  • Country parks - larger sites with walking routes, wildlife and picnic areas
  • Picnic areas‚Äč - ideal places to get some fresh air and have a break
  • Nature reserves - the place to go to watch wildlife and see conservation in action.  Habitats vary from woodland to grassland, heathland to coastal meadows
  • Railway paths - 120km of linear routes which are perfect for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. Form essential wildlife corridors and dotted with historic features

A bit more about what we do...

  • we look after our country parks, nature reserves, picnic areas and railway paths
  • make sure our sites are safe and well-maintained by carrying out surfacing, drainage and vegetation management
  • constantly develop sites to meet the needs of users and wildlife
  • look after the county's wildlife and biodiversity
  • work with volunteers and community groups
  • promote the countryside through events and guided walks
  • run environmental education sessions

How are we doing?

We value your feedback in helping us to continue to improve the countryside for the benefit of people and wildlife. If you would like to tell us about a recent visit to one of our countryside sites please complete our Parks and countryside service: customer satisfaction survey. Please note, this survey is for general feedback only. If you would like to report a problem with a countryside site please Do it online..

Countryside volunteering

If you want to help us look after the countryside, there are many opportunities for you to get involved in. See Support your local environment.