Walking your dog on Marsden Moor

A walker and a spaniel on a footpath on Marsden Moor

Walkies with your four legged friend.

Please note: BBQs, fireworks and fires are banned on Marsden Moor all year round. Please help us look after this special place by leaving them at home during your visit.

Where can I walk my dog on Marsden Moor?

With miles of footpaths to explore, Marsden Moor is a great place for exploring with your dog. We always ask owners to keep dogs under close control, especially during ground nesting bird season and around livestock.

After a series of devestating fires, it's more important than ever to give our rare birds a chance to nest undisturbed. Keeping your dog on a short lead during nesting season is part of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act.

What do I need to be aware of when walking my dog at Marsden Moor?

To help us ensure our visitors, dogs, wildlife and grazing animals get along, please:

  • Take the lead: Keep your dog under close control, preferably on a lead, at all times. Dogs must be on a short 2m lead during nesting season 1 March - 31 July. Don’t let your dog chase wildlife or grazing animals.
  • Scoop that poop: Bag it and bin it, or take it home with you. Help us keep Marsden Moor beautiful.
  • Be on the ball: Not everyone loves dogs, so keep them close by.
  • Paws for thought: Look out for livestock. Please note that some of our walks have stiles, not gates.
Sheep graze on parts of Marsden Moor
A sheep with horns on the hills above Marsden, covered in snow.
Sheep graze on parts of Marsden Moor

Walking your dog near sheep

Grazing season is from April until October, but be aware that some livestock may be on the moors before or after this time. It's really important to keep your dog under control around livestock, especially sheep during lambing season. Even if sheep aren't injured, it's really important not to scare a pregnant ewe. As a last resort, farmers can take action against dogs that worry sheep.

Walking your dog near cows

In some parts of the moors, we have cows grazing on our land too. Cows are naturally curious; if they approach, walk slowly with your dog at heel. If you feel threatened, let go of your dog – it can run faster than cattle and escape. Once you're safe, regain control of your dog.

Always walk around cows with calves, they may feel threatened if you walk between them. If you're unsure try to find an alternative route around the animals.

Breeding Birds

Marsden Moor is an important breeding site for ground nesting birds which are vulnerable to curious dogs when they’re sitting on eggs and raising chicks. 

Moorland species such as Curlew, Golden Plover and Short-eared Owl use the moors as a safe place to breed and raise their young.


Please stick to footpaths and keep your dog on a lead during nesting season (1 March – 31 July). This is part of the Countrside Rights of Way Act. At the National Trust, we don't want to stop people from accessing outdoor places. However, these restrictions are vital to help us give our breeding birds the best chance.

Video

Take the Lead at Marsden Moor

Find our more about dog walking on Marsden Moor with ranger Tom and Ruffles the cocker spaniel.