Visiting Badbury Rings with your dog
Badbury Rings and the surrounding Kingston Lacy estate are beautiful places to explore with dogs, thanks to the network of paths through fields and open countryside. To keep Badbury Rings a clean and safe space for everyone to enjoy, please be a responsible dog owner and follow the advice and canine code below.
Where can my dog go?
There are plenty of fields and paths for dogs to explore, but be aware that there are often sheep and cows grazing in and around Badbury Rings. Please keep dogs on the lead when this is the case.
Risks to livestock
Dogs running loose can stress pregnant sheep, which can have deadly consequences, and younger animals may get separated from their mothers if chased by a dog.
Dogs should be kept on the lead in areas like heaths, downs and wetlands between late February and August. This is because birds nest on or near the ground at these times.
What do I need to be aware of?
Please pick up dog poo and throw it in the bins provided or take it home. This is particularly important in areas where livestock graze because dog poo can lead to diseases that cause serious damage to cattle and sheep.
Please keep dogs on leads or under close control. This includes preventing your dog from chasing flocks of birds, as chasing migrating or overwintering birds can leave them exhausted and vulnerable.
Keeping control of your dog
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 or wildlife, or if you are asked to use one
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.
Discover the best places for a dog walk, from coastal adventures and dramatic mountains to more leisurely walks near you. Plus find information on dog-friendly cafés and read our Canine Code.
If you’re bringing your dog to the places we care for, here’s information on the Canine Code and pawprint rating system to plan your visit.
After a good dog walk in the fresh air, find a place to sit and relax with your dog in a dog-friendly café.
We've partnered with natural pet food maker Forthglade to create the Dogs Welcome project, helping you and your dog to get the most out of the places in our care.
Families and dog walkers regularly head to Badbury Rings to explore the ancient Iron Age hillfort, while also enjoying the avenue of beech trees and views of the Dorset countryside.