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Dog walker on a forest trail.

Managing dogs in the wood

The Forestry Commission are working with the Kennel Club to improve people’s health and well-being through dog ownership, whilst respecting the forest environment and the needs of other users.

As one of the most visible and frequent, year-round activities in the natural environment, dog walking plays a major role in conserving our woods as living, accessible places. The challenge for us as land managers rests on developing a balanced approach that supports the benefits dogs bring to society, as much as it addresses negative impacts caused by their owners.

This guidance note is designed to help site-based staff turn these principles into action on the ground. Whilst written for the forest environment, much of this guidance is equally applicable to the wider countryside and open spaces around towns.

This guidance is also available to download as a PDF (1MB).