In the 1990s no national Country Code existed in the south of Ireland, although a plethora of codes from various organisations had been developed.
Comhairle na Tuaithe was set up in February 2004 to look at the following issues:
- access to the countryside
- developing a countryside code
- developing a countryside recreation strategy
Comhairle na Tuaithe is made up of people from farming organisations, recreational users of the countryside and state bodies with a responsibility or interest in the countryside. The Department of Rural and Community Development acts as secretariat for Comhairle na Tuaithe.
Access to the countryside, which is an ongoing issue for private landowners, state landholders, recreational users and tourists alike has been progressed through the efforts of Comhairle na Tuaithe and the introduction of the The Walks Scheme in 2008.