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Attention Dog Walkers!

Attention Dog walkers!

Our meadows are in danger and we need your help to protect them by:

  • Sticking to paths
  • keeping your dog on a short, non-retractable lead (do not let your dog go off course)
  • picking up your dog's mess and disposing of it in a bin (not a hedge!)
  • keeping well away from meadows (stick to areas with short grass)


Dogs are one of the biggest causes for decline in local biodiversity! Here's why

A person with a dog causes a lot more damage to the natural world than a person without a dog. Why?

Trampling. People tend to walk in a straight line from A to B thereby concentrating to one path and keeping off the rest avoiding trampling. However a person with a dog is very different. Dogs go in random directions. Off the lead and they will charge through knocking over any plant too delicate. On the lead and they will pull a long the oblivious, trundling, left-footed human behind them, who tramples every orchid in sight. Even worse is when they are staring at there phone not looking where they are going.

Presence. The shear presence of dogs is enough to do a lot of damage. Studies have shown that ground-nesting birds such as Sky Larks in particular will be alerted if a dog is 500m away for a human its 300m. It is a primal instinct to birds and other animals that dogs are far more of a threat than humans. In busy places such as the Downs the least sensitive birds can cope and will get used to humans but dogs, they are on another level. Have you ever seen one chase a squirrel? Well they are the same with anything that moves from butterflies to voles.

Dogs waste. Dog Faeces and Urine is extremely high in Nitrogen and Phosphorus. Enough to kill sensitive flora. Have you ever seen yellow patches in your lawn? What's worse than this is the effect over time. The odd dog every now and then is not going to have much of an affect but when there are hundreds continuously visiting an area then it becomes a problem and the balance of flora changes as soil nutrient levels shift. Vigorous hungry plants that are usually kept in check such as Perennial Rye grass take over and out-compete others and the once species rich grassland becomes poor. If your dog does a poo you must pick it up and put it in a bin (don't you dare fling it in a hedge or tie it in a tree!)

Please play your part to help conserve our pressured natural world by keeping well away from meadows and by sticking to paths with dogs on a short, non-retractable lead when passing through an area of high nature value.

Please pass this message onto anyone you know who has a dog.


Plants that you are protecting by doing this include:

  • Bladder Campion
  • Kidney Vetch
  • Corky-fruited Water Dropwort
  • Ox-eye Daisy
  • Small Scabious
  • Yellow-wort
  • Common Centaury
  • Wild Thyme
  • Cat's-ear
  • Rough Hawkbit
  • Black Knapweed
  • Salad Burnet
  • Red Clover
  • Tormentil
  • Spring Cinquefoil
  • Dropwort
  • Lady's Bedstraw
  • Cowslip
  • Hairbell
  • Hoary Plantain
  • Ribwort Plantain
  • Fairy Flax
  • Dwarf Thistle
  • Field Bindweed
  • Bird's-foot Trefoil
  • Goat's-beard
  • Smooth Hawk's-beard
  • Autumn Lady's-tresses
  • Common Spotted Orchid
  • Common Spotted x Southern Marsh Orchid
  • Quaking Grass
  • Upright Brome
  • Crested Hair-grass
  • Sweet Vernal Grass
  • Brown Bent