Visiting Ludshott Common with your dog

Picture of a couple  walking their dogs in woodland

Ludshott Common is a large common land set within the South Downs, an area of natural beauty with miles of walking routes to follow. Responsible owners and their dogs are welcome at Ludshott Common, however we would encourage you to read this article before your visit to ensure everyone enjoys their time with us.

Dog waste bins on Ludshott Common

Update on dog bins at Ludshott Common

Due to the huge increase of dog walkers using Ludshott Common in the past year, we have struggled to keep up with the disposal of dog waste left in our bins. Emptying the bins incurs huge costs, which is still not keeping up with demand. As a charity we have limited funds for waste disposal, so as a result, the dog waste bins on Ludshott Common will be removed at the end of September 2021. Please help us to keep this special place beautiful by taking your dog waste home with you. Thank you. If you have any questions please get in touch by email

Ludshott Common is managed and legally protected as an open space because it provides much needed habitat for a range of rare bird species which depend on heathland landscapes.  Our conservation work means this site remains a key habitat for woodlark, Nightjar, Dartford and wood warblers alongside many other kinds of wildlife.

We also have cattle and other livestock grazing the common land throughout the year, an important part of habitat management.

Please adhere to the countryside code and abide by the following rules during your visit to Ludshott Common

Keep your dog on a lead at all times around livestock, and under close control on the wider common land.

Respect the fact that not everyone loves dogs. Please only allow them to approach other visitors and dogs with their consent

Be mindful of the countryside code and keep an eye out for warning and information signs around the common during your walk

Please take your dog waste home with you. 


What do we mean by close control?

Our definition of close or effective control is:

Being able to recall your dogs in any situation at the first call.

Being able to clearly see your dog at all times (not just knowing they have gone into the undergrowth or over the crest of the hill). In practice this means keeping them on a footpath if the surrounding vegetation is too dense for your dog to be visible.

Not allowing them to approach other visitors without their consent.

Having a lead with you to use if you encounter livestock, wildlife or other dogs

Dog walking
Dog walking on a lead
Dog walking

Why is it important to keep my dog on a lead?

At Ludshott common, we work with local graziers who use the common to graze their livestock all year round. It is an important part of the land management of the common.

Even if you know your dog well, there is a risk they could become excited by unusual smells, sounds of movement of the livestock and react unpredictably, creating stressful and avoidable situations which could result in prosecutions and a fine for the owner, stress to the animals and loss of income to the grazier.

Even if your dog does not bite livestock, chasing or barking at them can cause pregnant animals to lose their young through stress.

Between 1 March and 31 July, you must have your dog on a lead no more than 2 metres long on Open Access land, even if there is no livestock on the land. These are legal requirements, which if broken could result in a fine of up to £1000. Livestock owners can also shoot dogs they believe are worrying livestock.

In the spring, many ground nesting birds use the common to raise their young. It is important to keep your dog under close control to avoid disturbing these birds and other wildlife.