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Paws on the Moors – essential advice for dog-walkers

This is an archived press release

Wednesday 23 April 2008

23 April 2008

Paws on the Moors – essential advice for dog-walkers

Calling dog-owners – do you know how to walk your dog safely on the Peak District moors?

Simple guidelines to protect pets, wildlife and farm animals are presented in the first-ever website and animation dedicated to safe moorland dog-walking.

The light-hearted 15-minute animation is one of a series of free downloads on the website, www.pawsonthemoors.org , developed by the Moors for the Future partnership, based at Edale in the Peak District National Park.

Scripted by local Middleton-by-Wirksworth writer Pamela Butler, “Paws on the Moors” follows a puppy, Barney, as he learns about some of the delights and dangers around this sensitive environment.

It shows why dog-walkers need to keep control of their pets for their own and other creatures’ safety. Short leads are essential during the breeding season (March 1 – July 31) – nests can be disturbed, young creatures abandoned, lambs harmed, and dogs or owners injured by cattle defending calves.

Dan Boys, Moor Care project officer explained: “The animation has been written from the perspective of dogs, as they are obviously unaware of the conservation issues. This approach will hopefully enable people to look with fresh eyes at the importance of following just a few simple guidelines when visiting moorland areas, which will ultimately mean a more enjoyable visit too.”

The Kennel Club has supported the initiative throughout its development. Kennel Club secretary, Caroline Kisko, said: “This entertaining, informative approach gives people excellent advice about keeping their dogs happy and safe on the moors, whilst protecting rare birds and wildlife. A pet roaming off-lead at the wrong time or place can cause distress and serious injury for dogs, farm animals and wildlife alike.”

The website also includes useful information on dog-friendly B&Bs, first aid for dogs and biographies of the ‘Paws on the Moors’ characters. Other free downloads include dog ‘passports’, computer desktop wallpapers and bird songs.

For a chance to win one of five copies of the ‘Paws on the Moors’ animation on DVD, e-mail the answer to this question: “What are the dates of the bird nesting season?” to moors@peakdistrict.gov.uk by May 16 2008.

Guidelines for responsible dog owners on the moors:

  • always keep your dog close by, under control and in sight
  • always use a short two-metre lead:
    • between March 1 - July 31 when rare moorland birds lay their eggs on the ground
    • near farm animals - all year round. Sheep are particularly sensitive to dogs
    • if you cannot rely on your dog’s obedience
  • if livestock chase you and your dog, it is safer to let your dog off the lead – don’t risk getting hurt trying to protect it
  • please follow official signs that illustrate the sensitive times and places where dogs are not allowed.

This is an archived press release

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