• Black and white dog on a country pathMost people think of birds nesting high in the trees, but some species build their nests on the ground. For this reason, it is the law to keep your dog on a short lead while on open access land from 1 March to 31 July. Throughout the year take care not to allow your dog to wander where it might disturb ground-nesting birds and other wildlife living in the undergrowth and river banks.
  • You do not have to put your dog on a lead on public paths, as long as it is under close control.
  • Make sure your dog is on a lead when around livestock. Cattle and sheep are grazed throughout the Blackdown Hills and by law, a farmer is entitled to destroy a dog that injures or worries his or her animals. However, if a farm animal is chasing you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt by trying to protect it. Read more about Blackdown Hills cattle below.
  • Dog mess is not only unpleasant, it can cause infections. Please, please clear up after your dog – if there isn’t a dog poo bin, please bag it, and bin it at home.
  • The Kennel Club has some excellent advice on dog walking in the countryside.

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