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Visiting Hare Hill with your dog

Visitors walking through the sheltered valley at Lockeridge Dene and Piggledene, near Marlborough, Wiltshire
Visitor dog walking through the sheltered valley | © National Trust Images/James Dobson

Visitors with well behaved dogs on leads are very welcome to explore the historic parkland at Hare Hill, which can be walked via a permissive path. The land is now home to our tenant farmer's livestock.

The Canine Code

We’ve worked with our partner Forthglade to come up with this Canine Code, which helps to make sure everyone can enjoy their day:

  • Keep them close: using a short lead helps to keep your dog from disturbing ground-nesting birds and farm animals. It's essential to use a short lead around sheep. But if cattle approach you, it's best to let your dog off the lead, and call them back when it's safe to do so.
  • Pick up the poo: please always clear up after your dog. If you can't find a bin nearby, take the poo bags home with you.
  • Watch the signs: keep an eye on local signs and notices wherever you're walking. They'll tell you if a beach has a dog ban, for instance, or if a path has been diverted, or if you're in an area where dogs can run off-lead.
  • Stay on the ball: remember that not everyone loves dogs, and some people fear them. So make sure your dog doesn't run up to other people, especially children.

Planning your visit

The permissive path that connects Hare Hill to our countryside property at Alderley Edge is now re-open. It is vital that all dog owners keep their four legged friends on a short 2m lead to help keep the pregnant sheep safe and free from disturbance during this critical time. We thank you for your support and understanding.

Wooded and Walled Gardens at Hare Hill

Due to the sensitive nature of the Wooded and Walled Gardens at Hare Hill, we are unable to allow dogs into the gardens, apart from assistance dogs. Please factor this in to your planning and be sure to check our website before your visit. After the 1st of March, dog owners can explore the historical parklands on the permissve path and can enjoy the sweeping views across the landscape and out towards Manchester. For those wanting to plan a good day out walking, why not grab a brew to go from our Welcome Building in our main car park at Hare Hill and then walk to our countryside property at Alderley Edge via the permissive path.

How to walk your dog safely around livestock

Many areas of the countryside tended to by the National Trust include, or are surrounded by, farmland. Please help us to keep you, your dog and farmers’ livestock safe by keeping your dog on a lead when walking near or across farmland.

Even small dogs can unintentionally scare sheep, which can have serious or even fatal consequences. When you're crossing fields with sheep in them, keep your dog on a lead at all times.

There are areas at Hare Hill where sheep are close by, although they cannot be seen from the paths. We've put signs in these areas to help you navigate the most suitable paths with your pets.

If you think you are in danger from cattle, release your dog so you can both escape separately, and please always leave gates as you found them. Click here to learn more about the Countryside Code and for more information please visit:

Dogs and wildlife across the Cheshire countryside

Some of the countryside sites we care for are designated for the significance of their wildlife. Many species live within woodlands, heathland, in ponds, across the fields and hedgerows. Several of these species are on the endangered list and we know that as animal lovers, dog-walking visitors are keen to help us protect them.

The best way to do this is to keep dogs on short 2m lead between 1 March and 31 July during the time when birds that nest on the ground are raising their young. This is particularly important at rare heathland sites such as Bickerton Hill, 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

A Dog Fouling and Dog Control Public Spaces Protection Order is in effect within the borough of Cheshire East. Several National Trust 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.

Please help us keep the countryside a beautiful, healthy and pleasant place for everyone to walk by bagging up any dog mess and taking it away to dispose of at home.

Anyone failing to remove their dog's mess, or anyone who has not put their dog on a lead when asked to do so by the landowner, will be subject to an ‘on the spot’ Fixed Penalty Notice of up to £100.

You can find out more about the order from the Cheshire East Council website.

Thank you for helping keep Cheshire and Wirral countryside an enjoyable place to visit, and livestock and nesting wildlife safe, as you and your dog enjoy your walk.

a dog at Quarry Bank
Couple walking a dog at Quarry Bank | © Annapurna Mellor