New partnership to lead on Forest friendly dog initiative
The New Forest National Park Authority (NPA) has teamed up with New Forest Dog Owners Group (NFDOG) to employ a new third seasonal ranger to help people care for the Forest and promote the New Forest Dog Walking Code to residents, visitors and local communities.
In previous years, two seasonal rangers have been employed for six months from March to September to help people learn about the importance of the New Forest, its protected species and promote important messages to reduce any potentially harmful behaviour.
Gillie Molland, Lead Ranger at the New Forest National Park Authority, said: ‘It will be great to work closely with NFDOG and also increase our seasonal rangers to three this year. We hope to encourage responsible dog ownership which avoids conflict with the special qualities of the National Park by encouraging people to follow the New Forest Dog Walking Code that has been agreed by members of the New Forest Dogs Forum.’
Heather Gould, New Forest Dog Owners Group Chairman, said: ‘We hope our partnership will nurture a greater understanding between dog walkers and other recreational forest users and help share the main messages of our local codes which are to help keep the National Park clean, stay safe, keep dogs under effective control especially around forest livestock and develop a mutual respect between forest user groups.’
The first three months for seasonal ranger Kat Saleiko is focused on raising awareness of rare ground nesting birds and how Forest users can reduce disturbing them during the very sensitive months of the bird breeding season. She will then help to deliver a programme of activities promoting the wider aspects of the New Forest Dog Walking Code to regular walkers and summer visitors, including those visiting Camping in the Forest sites.
The NPA has a dedicated ranger service with staff skilled in the delivery of engagement activities to a wide range of ages and audiences, from special interest groups and local communities to visiting families. Both the NPA and NFDOG share a common desire to encourage responsible dog walking and increase understanding of the special qualities of the New Forest, its shared use and its protected species.
Both organisations recognise the benefits of working in partnership and sharing resources to achieve common aims. Funding for this role has been made possible through equal contributions from NFDOG and the NPA’s habitat mitigation funds from developer contributions.
For more information on the New Forest Dog Walking Code please visit www.newforestnpa.gov.uk/walking.
Notes to Photo Editor: (left to right): NPA lead ranger Gillie Moland with Teasel; seasonal ranger Kat Saleiko; & New Forest Dog Owners Group Chairman Heather Gould with Charlie
Notes to Editor:
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.
Beki Mole, Communications Assistant
New Forest National Park Authority
Tel: 01590 646639