Drop-in sessions were held across country parks and outdoor sites, in partnership with colleagues from Hampshire Constabulary’s Country Watch scheme, to gather thoughts and opinions on how the county’s beautiful green spaces can continue to used by visitors including walkers, horse riders, dog owners and cyclists.
At locations including Farley Mount and Lepe Country Park, rangers have been using information boards, maps and family-friendly activities to start conversations on what the countryside code means in practical terms, and also to highlight current projects such as the Countryside Canines initiative.
Countryside Canines is a scheme that promotes responsible dog walking through a traffic light system.
- Green shows areas where dogs can be off leads.
- Amber shows areas where livestock are present and we ask for dogs to be on leads by the walker’s side due to the sensitivity of the site, for example where ground-nesting birds or grazing livestock are present. Amber areas may also indicate areas where it is recommended for dogs to be on leads for their own safety.
- Red shows areas where dogs are not allowed.
Countryside Development Officer, Carly Harrod, explains:
We’ve really enjoyed meeting lots of different types of visitors to our countryside sites and hearing what they have to say.
If you didn’t manage to get to one of our summer drop-ins, there’s still time to have your say, by emailing your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to Countryside Canines, Castle Avenue, Winchester, S023 8UL.We will now review all of the feedback we’ve received to help with our work going forward, particularly with the Countryside Canines scheme, which will officially launch next year.
You can also find out more about dogs in the countryside at www.hants.gov.uk/countryside