New Forest Dog On The Forest Off The Lead

Owners conversations continue - despite the weather!

Despite the colder weather, a joint campaign to promote responsible dog ownership through conversations with owners has continued. The partners are the New Forest National Park Authority, Forestry England, Hampshire police, and NFDOG.

The final event of the year was at Deerleap car park near Ashhurst where several dozen owners were given Police Dog Watch packs – and their four-legged friends had treats (if owners allowed). NFDOG's free mobile phone app was also shown to owners.

Dog owner engagement team

Through the year, a number of events at places including Bolton’s Bench, Wilverley Car Park and Deerleap have enabled the team to chat to dog walkers. In almost every case they’ve had poo bags – and are using them. Other topics discussed have included Ground Nesting Birds, and car park safety and thefts.

However it’s still clear that a minority of owners still think it’s OK to leave poo. There are risks to humans and wildlife, as well as the harm to the enjoyment of walking in the forest to those who step in it. A key focus is on work to encourage this minority of owners who don’t pick up after their dogs to change their behaviour.

A possible link is that the car parks and areas which seem worse are near the edge of the New Forest (such as Longslade Bottom and Moonhills) and next year these will be targeted by the team to try to engage with those who don’t act responsibly. If you see us – come and say hello!