Walking with your dog in the Cheshire and Wirral countryside

Dog walking on a lead

We welcome dogs at all the Cheshire and Wirral countryside sites and know how much our dog walking visitors enjoy bringing their pets to these special places.

There are a variety of walks across the Cheshire and Wirral countryside and a walks leaflet is available for Alderley Edge, which reveals some of the heritage of the site, as you and your dog enjoy the fresh air.

Our guide below will help you to keep yourselves, your dogs, livestock, wildlife and the environment safe, when you are walking at the Cheshire and Wirral countryside places.

Please help us keep the countryside a beautiful, healthy and pleasant place for everyone to walk by bagging up your dog’s faeces and taking them away to dispose of at home.

Bickerton Hill
Cattle grazing on Bickerton Hill
Bickerton Hill

Dogs and livestock

Many of our countryside places include, or are surrounded by farmland which is often farmed by our tenant farmers.  Please help us to keep you, your dog and farmers’ livestock safe by following these guidelines.

Keep your dogs under close control, ideally on a lead when walking near or across farmland and on a lead at all times when crossing fields with sheep in them.  There are areas at Alderley Edge where sheep are close by, although they cannot be seen from the paths, and we have put signs in these areas to help you. Remember that even small friendly dogs can unintentionally scare sheep.  The sheep then run away from the dog, which can cause them to sustain serious injuries and can even prove fatal.  

Please leave gates as you found them. 

If you think you are in danger from cattle, release your dog so you can both escape separately.

For more information please see the Countryside Code

Thurstaston Common is home to a lot of wildlife
View of a path next to a tree with purple heath in the background which leads to a wood
Thurstaston Common is home to a lot of wildlife

Dogs and wildlife

A number of our countryside sites are designated for their wildlife significance and many species, several of which are on the endangered list, live within woodlands, heathland, in ponds, across the fields and hedgerows, and we know that as animal lovers, our dog walking visitors are keen to help us protect them.  

The best way to do this is to keep dogs on short leads between 1 March and 31 July during bird ground-nesting season, particularly at rare heathland sites such as Bickerton, Thurstaston Common and on the Cloud near Congleton, where other species including invertebrates and reptiles will also be breeding.

Dog Fouling and Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order

On 1 November 2017, within the borough of Cheshire East, a Dog Fouling and Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order took effect.  As several of our Cheshire countryside places, including Hare Hill, Alderley Edge,  Maggoty Wood,  Mobberley and parts of Bickerton Hill, Mow Cop and the Cloud are in Cheshire East, and the order is enforceable within them, we would like to let you know what this order means.

The order states that anyone failing to remove dog faeces that their dog has left, or anyone who has not placed their dog on a lead in areas where they have been asked to by the landowner, will be subject to an ‘on the spot’ Fixed Penalty Notice up to the value of £100.  This Fixed Penalty Notice can be given by Cheshire Constabulary Police Officers, Cheshire Constabulary Police Community Support Officers or Designated Cheshire East Council Officers.  Further details about this Public Protection Order can be downloaded from the Cheshire East Council office here.

Thank you for helping to keep our Cheshire and Wirral countryside sites pleasant places to visit, and our Farmers’ livestock and nesting wildlife safe, as you and your dog enjoy your walk.