Visiting Comer Woods with your dog
- 19 January 2024
Exploring acres of countryside with your four-legged friend is one of the best ways to enjoy Comer Woods. Find out where you can walk with your dog at Comer, discover our dog-walking guide and read the Canine Code here to ensure everyone has an enjoyable visit.
Our pawprint rating system
We’ve been working on making it easier for you to find out how dog-friendly your visit will be before you and your four-legged friend arrive. To help with this, we've created a new pawprint rating system and given all the places in our care a rating. You can find this information in the National Trust members’ handbook.
Comer Woods is a two pawprint rated place.
These places have water bowls, dog bins and dog-friendly walks. You’ll be able to take your dog into some areas, but not everywhere. If there’s a food and beverage outlet, you can have a cup of tea with them, probably outside. Read on to discover exactly where you can take your dog.
Explore the walking trails every day, all year round, starting from car parks in Comer Woods, Hampton Loade and the Sawmill.
- Keep your dog on a lead in the car parks and Heath Meadow in Comer Woods. Dogs are welcome to explore off lead along the rest of the trails.
- These walking trails are shared use so please be considerate of other people and their pets.
- There's outdoor seating and water bowls at the Cafe in Comer Woods.
- Please clean up after your dog. There are two poo bins in Comer Woods. If you can't find a bin, please bag it and dispose of it at home.
- Parking is free for National Trust members, charges apply for non-members.
Walking with livestock
Sheep and cows graze areas of farmland around Comer Woods, so we ask everyone to keep their dog on a lead in those fields.
Here's some tips for walking your dog near cattle...
- Cows are inquisitive by nature. Stay calm if they approach you and they'll usually lose interest.
- Whistle or talk to the herd as you approach to let them know you're there.
- Don't get between your pet and the cows. Let go of the lead if necessary.
- Clap your hands to get the cows to move out of your way, or leave the path and go around them.
Being chased by dogs can do serious harm to sheep, even if the dog doesn't catch them. The stress of worrying can cause sheep to die and pregnant ewes to miscarry their lambs. So please take the lead to protect your pet and the farmers' livestock and livelihood.
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.
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.
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