Cairngorms National Park

Uath Lochans from Farleitter Crag, Kingussie

Keep dogs on leads this Spring

17th March 2015

It looks like spring has finally sprung which means more of us are starting to enjoy the outdoors again. The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is asking those of us with dogs to take extra care around sheep and lambs and be aware of vulnerable ground nesting birds at this time of year.

The CNPA is asking people to ‘Tread Lightly in the Park’ and to pay attention to any special notices posted by rangers, land managers or farmers in order to make their time with their four-legged friends enjoyable for everyone.

Bruce McConachie, the Cairngorms National Park Authority’s Land Management Advisor said: “The message is simple – dog owners are being urged to keep their dogs on leads. Loose dogs around pregnant ewes or lambs can have devastating impacts from miscarriage to injuries as a direct result of chasing or attacks by dogs that are not in control.

“Dogs that are not on leads near sheep can be a real problem and attacks by dogs can result in a big financial burden for farmers in terms of stock loss or vets bills, not to mention the emotional upset that is caused.”

Cairngorms Nature Manager Andy Ford added: “Dog owners and walkers are reminded that spring is an important time of year for ground nesting birds – whether that’s lapwings in farmland, capercaillie in our woodlands or dotterel on the high tops.

“The Scottish Outdoor Access Code asks people to act responsibly keeping their dogs under close control or on a short lead in areas like moorland, woodland and forests, during the bird breeding season which may last from April through to mid August.”

For more information on enjoying the outdoors responsibly please check out the Scottish Outdoor Access Code: http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/Practical-guide/public/dog-walking