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Dog walking

Dog walking is very popular in the New Forest National Park. It’s a great way to enjoy the fresh air and exercise, and local dog walkers are amongst the most passionate supporters of the New Forest.

It is important to remember that not everyone loves dogs and that in some circumstances, dog walking may conflict with other aspects of the Forest. All users of the forest can help to reduce potential problems by showing consideration for other users. This may be actions such as; putting your own dog on a lead if you are approaching another dog on a lead, or not parking on a verge or gateway because your usual car park is closed.

Free-roaming livestock such as the ponies and cattle can easily distract dogs whilst on a walk, and if dogs’ approach too close they can cause alarm especially when the livestock have young nearby. It is always advisable to give all livestock plenty of space when out walking, and never allow your dog to chase or bark at them.

As well as the livestock, the New Forest is an important home to sensitive wildlife such as deer, and both nesting and overwintering birds. By taking care to keep to main tracks and keeping dogs under effective control, walkers can help look after these species as well as protecting their dogs from potential hazards such as adders and ticks or from getting lost or injured on the open forest.

Alabama Rot (Cutaneous and Renal Glomerular Vasculopathy, CRGV) is a potentially fatal disease in dogs that only recently appeared in the UK. Confirmed cases have been found in many areas of the UK including the New Forest, but it is still very rare and not fully understood.

For the latest information please visit vets4pets pet health advice on alabama rot.

Visit Forestry England pages for the latest information nationally and tips to make sure you and your pet keep healthy and happy whilst out and about.

Leave only pawprints

Please remember that not everyone loves dogs and that no-one likes to step in dog waste!

To encourage dog owners who care to pick up everywhere, we are delighted to be partnering with Dicky Bag, which makes taking responsibility and picking up after your dog even easier. The New Forest is a very popular place to walk your dog, with so many choices of location to explore, but there are microscopic menaces inside poop that can cause toxic harm to the environment and the animals that grazes here. Discarded poop bags are equally dangerous and cause the death of livestock on the forest as well as adding to litter problems.

The Dicky Bag has a pocket for fresh bags and a lightweight design; it’s a soft, robust, airtight, machine washable neoprene bin with a Velcro wrap, a karabiner and a belt loop. It’s like having a portable bin you can take with you.

If you buy your Dicky Bag through their site, you be supporting our vital work and as a special thanks you’ll also get a free shoulder strap.

Visit today and enter ‘New Forest-79’ at the checkout. Your free shoulder strap will be automatically added to your basket (minimum spend £15).

The New Forest Dog Walking Code has been agreed by local people and organisations – do check this out and please follow it during your visit.

For great walks to try with your dog use our walking route finder.

National Park Volunteer and Access Officer


'Download the New Forest walking app to discover a great new walking route.'

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