NATIONAL Trust Rangers are urging owners to ensure their dogs are kept on short leads this spring on Marsden Moor, to protect wildlife and livestock.
Moorland fires for the last two years have damaged important bird habitat, making this spring a particularly crucial time for wildlife.
All dogs must be kept on a short lead (up to two metres) until July 31 to avoid disturbing birds like Lapwing, Curlew and Golden Plover.
These breeds build their nests deep in the grasses on Marsden Moor, meaning they’re often hidden from sight, but dogs can sometimes smell them.
Even dogs that don’t chase birds can still cause them distress, inadvertently disturbing nests and causing the animals to abandon their eggs.
It is also a crucial time for farmers, as sheep and cows go back on the moors with their young.
Pregnant ewes are also particularly vulnerable; if they’re disturbed, they may miscarry their lambs.
Craig Best, countryside manager for the National Trust, said: “We really want people to be able to enjoy walking on the moors with their dogs.
“At this time of year, it’s important for both dogs and their owners to keep to the paths to give our rare breeding birds the best chance.
“Farmers that graze their livestock on the moors also appreciate dogs being on leads at this time.
“Many sheep are pregnant or have young lambs. It’s really distressing for the animals when they’re chased by dogs.”
“Over the past decades, we’ve worked really hard to give nature the best chance on the moors by restoring plant biodiversity. Dog owners can really help us with our efforts to look after our wildlife.”
For more details, visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/marsden-moor-estate
My wife and I regularly walk around the lanes near our house – Thorpe Lane, Brighton Road and Whitegate Lane.
Along all the lanes there are always discarded food cartons, bottles etc.
The council does occasionally collect some but it is a never-ending job.
What is also very annoying is that dog poo bags are also discarded or even left hanging. This is the same for many other local areas.
Peter, a local walker.