Walking your dog

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Walking your dog on our nature reserves

Dog walking by Peter Cairns/2020VISION

Worcestershire Wildlife Trust manages its nature reserves for the conservation of special and important wildlife and habitats. Responsible owners and their dogs are welcome on many of our reserves but dog-related issues (such as wildlife disturbance and attacks on livestock or other site users) mean we may exclude dogs from all or part of some reserves for part or all of the year.

Even the apparently friendliest of dogs snuffling through the undergrowth will be perceived as a threat and could cause birds to abandon nests or over-wintering ground-roosting birds to use much-needed energy to fly away.

Dog fouling can cause problems for wildlife. It can increase nutrients in the ground and threaten important plant species and communities. It is also unpleasant and potentially dangerous to other visitors as well as Trust staff and volunteers.

Allowing dogs in ponds and other watercourses disturbs sediment, can spread non-native/invasive species and can also introduce pesticides from flea and other treatments that can kill aquatic life.

Where dogs are allowed, the following applies: 

  • Always clean up after your dog. 
  • Keep your dog on a lead.
  • Keep your dog out of ponds and watercourses.
  • Never let your dog chase wildlife or grazing animals.
  • Ensure your dog’s behaviour is not a threat or problem to other visitors
  • Please follow all local signs for additional information about walking your dog.

This video by the South Downs National Park authority is well worth a watch.