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Please shut the gate.

Central Otago Recreational Users Forum members urge people who cross farm land on public access ways to leave gates as they find them.

The message comes following instances of gates being left open, or not latched properly, despite being closed when people have approached them.

Forum secretary Jo Wilson said the key was for people to leave gates as they found them leave them open, or close them if they were closed.

She said, in some cases, the gates might not have been intentionally left open.

“They need to be latched tightly, and that might mean lifting them to the post to make sure they are animal-proof.”

She said adults were encouraged to be responsible for the gates and not leave it up to children.

The person who opened a gate should be the person who closed it, because they would be familiar with the way it latched.

Ms Wilson said there could be some serious repercussions for farmers if stock got out.

There are a range of rules people must follow under the Land Access Code when they use back-country roads.

She said they included no smoking, no dogs, no fires and people had to leave gates as they found them.

It was also important people did not venture off the roads on to farmland.

People, including children, also must not swing on the gates as it could damage the hinges, causing the gate to sag, which could ultimately make them more difficult to close.spy offersNike