New hotline cards for responsible dog owners

Dog Car Sticker

Published Tuesday 13 August 2013

Hotline cards and window stickers designed to encourage responsible dog walking in the New Forest have been unveiled.

They have been produced by the New Forest National Park Authority in collaboration with the New Forest Dogs Forum and are designed to help keep the forest clean of dog mess, protect Forest animals and birds, and provide a safe and considerate environment for everyone.

The code for dog walkers includes picking up after their dog, especially where people walk, play, park or picnic, and taking the bagged waste home or using a litter or dog bin. It also says dogs should be under control and not allowed to approach or chase livestock, deer or other wildlife.

Nigel Matthews, community & visitor services manager for the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘In the same way that many New Forest residents already proudly display an "I go slow for ponies" window sticker in their car, we are now looking for dog owners who can say "I walk my dog responsibly". This means that they follow the dog walking code recently agreed by a wide range of New Forest organisations.

‘The New Forest is a great place to walk a dog, enjoy the fresh air and spend time in such beautiful surroundings. However, we share the Forest environment with each other, birds that nest on the ground, wild deer and the many animals owned by local people.

‘The stickers are a great way for responsible dog owners to encourage everyone to adopt the same high standards.’

The stickers and hotline cards were highlighted at the recent New Forest Show where they were widely distributed.

Heather Gould, chair of the New Forest Dog Owners Group, said: ‘The Dogs Forum is very broad, with people representing dog owners, land owners, farmers, the Police, local commoners and wildlife. We worked hard to find consensus and have now taken steps to address potential problems.

‘The New Forest Show was a great place to hand out the window stickers and we look forward to seeing lots of them across the area in the coming months.’

New Forest District Council Councillor Edward Heron said: ‘The Dogs Forum has produced some credit card sized emergency hotline cards. These have the phone numbers of our dog wardens, and of the police, so that walkers can quickly call if they see lost, stray and out of control dogs, or if they see a dangerous dog chasing or attacking people, wildlife or livestock.

‘The cards also have a reminder about the dog walking code so we want to encourage people to pass them on to their friends to ensure they care for the Forest too.’

Both the window stickers and the cards are available at local information points, visitor centres, district council offices and vets, or you can order one by e-mailing enquiries@newforestnpa.gov.uk.

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Notes to Photo Editors:

Please find attached a photo of the 'I walk my dog responsibly' car sticker. Images of the hotline card are also available by contacting comunications officer Sion Donovan on 01590 646639 or sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

Note to Editors:

While the New Forest National Park Authority encourages responsible dog walking, enforcement is a matter for either New Forest District Council dog wardens (lost, stray or out of control dogs) or the police (dangerous dogs, e.g. chasing or attacking people, wildlife or livestock).

The New Forest Dogs Forum includes New Forest Dog Owners Group, New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry Commission, Hampshire County Council, New Forest District Council, National Trust, Natural England, New Forest Association, Hampshire Constabulary, Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust and Commoners Defence Association.

The code 'in brief' as given on the cards is as follows:

Keep the National Park clean

  • Always pick up after your dog, especially where people walk, play, park and picnic

  • Take bagged dog waste home, or use a litter or dog bin

Be considerate

  • Keep dogs away from picnics, horse riders and cyclists

  • Prevent excessive barking

  • Show respect for other dogs and walkers

Stay safe and control your dog

  • Keep your dog close by and in sight – if necessary use a lead

  • Ensure your dog does not approach or chase livestock, deer or other wildlife

  • Keep your dog to the main tracks when birds are nesting (March – July)

  • On public rights of way (e.g. through farmland) dogs should be kept on the path

The full dog walking code is at: www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/dogs-code

The emergency hotlines are:

POLICE (dangerous dogs, e.g. chasing or attacking people, wildlife or livestock)

999 (emergency)

101 (non-emergency) 

DOG WARDENS (lost, stray and out of control dogs)

New Forest District Council

023 8028 5411 (office hours)

023 8028 5202 (out of office hours)

About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect

  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk to find out more.

Media Contacts:
Sion Donovan, Communications Officer, New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639
Email: sion.donovan@newforestnpa.gov.uk

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