I'm a good dog campaign
National research shows that between a third and a half of countryside visitors have a dog with them. The UK’s 6 million pet dogs provide many social and health benefits. However, there are concerns about problems caused by a small minority of irresponsible owners to other people, sensitive wildlife and protected landscapes, such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs).
The ‘I’m a Good Dog!’ campaign aims to raise awareness of the importance of responsible dog ownership, build relationships between dog owners and land managers and provide practical support and guidance.
As part of the campaign, a series of ‘I’m a Good Dog!’ walks for the public and their dogs, has been organised. We have also produced a ‘calling card’ for land owners and managers to use when introducing themselves to dog walkers. We hope that the card will act as an ice breaker and lead to constructive dialogue between dog walkers and land managers. There are a number of other possible outputs from the project (dependent on funding), including:
- An ‘AONB Site/Land Managers Guide to managing visitors with dogs.’
- More and improved wardening, which may include training for paid staff/volunteers.
- Dog training courses in and around the AONB.
- The development of practical aids to help dogs and people. E.g. clearly signposted ‘off the lead’ and ‘on the lead’ areas, dog loo areas, clear and weatherproof signage, positive promotion of places where well behaved dogs and owners are welcome, etc.
- AONB and partners attendance/information at local events.
- Promotional/educational materials.
- Media coverage and other publicity.
We have secured funds from the AONB Sustainable Development Fund to enable us to start delivering some of these campaign elements.
‘I’m a Good Dog!’ is part of BALANCE, a cross-border cooperation project between five organisations from the Netherlands, Flanders and the United Kingdom, all working to manage green areas in rural and semi-urban environments within coasts and estuaries. BALANCE is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
For more information, please contact Neil Lister, BALANCE Project Manager.