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NEWS RELEASE No: 1621520 MARCH 2014

Forestry Commission launches Ruff Guide to the Forest

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walking with the dog at Alice Holt

Help for holidaying with your dog is here, with the launch of Forestry Commission England’s Ruff Guide to the Forest.

Forestry Commission England has created a one-stop-shop for owners and their dogs looking to take a break in and around forests and woodlands.

The Ruff Guide to the Forest showcases 34 Forestry Commission locations across England, highlighting each site’s trails and facilities suitable for dogs, along with dog-friendly places to stay nearby.

Each location in the guide has been reviewed by one of its regular four-legged visitors, helping newcomers to find out useful information such as if some areas are kept dog free and where to find water and waste bins.
There is also the opportunity for owners to share their thoughts and recommend places to stay nearby.

Paddy Harrop Recreation and Public Affairs Manager for Forestry Commission England commented:

“Across the country, you are never far from a Forestry Commission England location – which means you are never far from a great walk with your dog.

“We want to make it easier for people to bring their four-legged friend with them on a great day out, short break or longer holiday. By showcasing the dog-friendly facilities at our woods and forests and local dog-friendly accommodation, we hope we can provide all the essential information for a fantastic forest visit.”

The Forestry Commission’s accommodation partners, Forest Holidays and Camping in the Forest, have also seen a rise in popularity for dog-friendly holidays.

Camping in the Forest welcome dogs at almost all of their sites and they even camp for free, whilst all Forest Holidays locations have plenty of pet friendly cabins where your dog will feel right at home.

The Ruff Guide to the Forest is being launched as part of the Forestry Commission’s Paws Outdoors campaign. The campaign marks ten years of working together for the Forestry Commission, the Kennel Club and Natural Resources Wales. The organisations signed a new concordat at Crufts (7 March 2014) to promote opportunities for responsible dog-walking in UK forests.

Forestry Commission England has also announced England’s first Walk Your Dog Week, which takes place from Monday 28 April to Monday 5 May 2014. The awareness week will encourage dog owners to get into the habit of giving their pets more regular exercise, including time off the leash when appropriate, to improve their health and well-being and reduce dog obesity.

Dog owners can also nominate their well-behaved pet as a contender to become the dog face of the Paws Outdoors campaign.

Visit for more information

Notes to editors:

Media Contact: Katrina Podlewska, Senior PR and Partnerships Officer, Forestry Commission: or 0117 9066030.

1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  Further information can be found at

2. Forestry Commission Discovery Passes vary in price from £20-£50 for annual membership. For more information visit

3. The Forestry Commission works in partnership with the Kennel Club which is the largest organisation in the UK devoted to dog health, welfare and training. Its objective is to ensure that dogs live healthy, happy lives with responsible owners. The Kennel Club runs a Get Fit With Fido campaign to help people find inspiring ways to get fit with their dogs.

Links for further information: