Responsible dog walking on Dunstable Downs

Dog walking at Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire

Dunstable Downs is an amazing place for dog-walking but we must all be aware of the responsibilties attached to walking a dog in open countryside.

Being aware

We all love our dogs and enjoy taking them for a walk in beautiful open countryside but did you know that there are good reasons why it is necessary to keep them on a lead?

Spring is a particularly important time to keep your dogs under control on Dunstable Downs because we have ground-nesting skylarks here.

Skylarks are vulnerable and in decline so we are very careful to keep their habitat safe and make sure they are not disturbed. If they are, whilst they are nest-building, they may not continue and, unless they find somewhere else to try, it is possible they may not have chicks this season. So their decline could continue.

Vulnerable skylark at Dunstable downs
Skylark at Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire
Vulnerable skylark at Dunstable downs

You are probable aware that we have tenant farmers on the Downs and in spring they have sheep with young lambs browsing the hillsides. Very few dogs can resist chasing sheep which could possibly result in the sheep being harmed or even killed  - no one wants that!

Sheep guarding her lambs
Sheep with lambs on Dunstable Downs Bedfordshire
Sheep guarding her lambs

So you can see why it is so important that your dog is kept under control whilst up on the Downs - he/she will still have a wonderful walk and you will be relaxed and happy.

On Sep 22 2018 we opened a special area in the View Café for dog owners to bring their dogs inside with them. We know that many of you have wanted this for a long time and it is already proving popular. This is Juno, one of our first doggy visitors.

Juno and his family visiting the View Café
Welcome to our new dog friendly area in Dunstable Downs cafe bedfordshire
Juno and his family visiting the View Café