‘Keep your dog on leash during lambing time’ urges Trust

Glenridding Common Easter visitors asked to keep their dogs under control

Pete barron 12 detail

With the Lake District looking forward to a huge influx of visitors during the Easter holiday break, the John Muir Trust has called on dog owners visiting the National Park to be aware that this is also the height of lambing season.

The Trust, which recently took over the management of Glenridding Common, which includes Helvellyn and much of the surrounding landscape, pointed that this is a working landscape as well as a place for recreation.

The charity’s Glenridding Common Land Manager Peter Barron said: “This is a wonderful time of the year when Lakeland comes alive with the sounds and colours of spring, and visitors arrive in great number to unwind and enjoy our amazing scenery.

“But this is also one of the busiest and most stressful times in the farming calendar. The ewes, now heavily pregnant, have just come through a tough winter with long spells of sub-zero temperatures and deep snow cover. The farmers here have worked hard to ensure they are as fit as possible to be able to lamb successfully.

“We’re asking visitors to help out. In particular, we want to highlight the incredible stress that is caused by dogs running around loose and uncontrolled. Every year on our fells, sheep are killed, wounded or miscarry after being chased or attacked by dogs. It’s an important animal welfare problem, and it costs farmers money.”

Pete pointed out that even the calmest and gentlest of dogs can become excited in the presence of livestock.

“We want people to enjoy themselves, but we would also ask that you spare a thought for those who make their living from this beautiful landscape – and for the animals themselves who can be left seriously distressed or worse after an encounter with a dog running loose.”

Find out more about Glenridding Common.