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Forestry commission promotes healthy living for dog owners and their best friends


DOG OWNERS were kept cool in the afternoon sunshine on Sunday September 9 by the furiously wagging tails of hundreds of dogs running, jumping and frolicking at ‘Dogs at the Lodge’ event at Beechenhurst Lodge in the Forest of Dean.

Dogs at the lodgeThe event highlighted the importance of local woodlands as a resource to achieve healthier lifestyles as part of the Forestry Commission’s Active Woods’ campaign – which this year focuses on dog owners and supported helper dog charities, Dogs for the Disabled and Canine Partners.

More than 1,000 visitors and their dogs enjoyed a Doggy Treasure Trail, Dog Agility and even dancing with dogs! And prizes to pamper pooches were won in the Dog Show and other competitions. The event proved successful, the organisers are already looking forward to more such events in the future.

The event was put together by the Forestry Commission with Trail Runners, a Dean based ‘caniteering’ (running with your dog) group.

Stallholders donated 10% of their takings on the day to the Dogs for the Disabled and Canine Partners charities and raised over £400.

There was a particularly happy end to the day for Jake, the Springer Spaniel, from the Canine Adoption Agency. Jake accompanied guest of honour Ken Hames, presenter of hit BBC shows Beyond Boundaries and Mission Africa, on the day. As well as winning Best Rescue Dog Jake took part in Scurries and Agility classes. And the lively mutt captured the hearts of a local family who offered him a new home.

* ‘Active Woods’ is a national drive, being led by the Forestry Commission; to promote the vast range of health and fitness opportunities offered by Britain’s woodlands. Hundreds of events are being organised across the UK, including welly-wanging, den building and meditation in the woods, reflecting the campaign’s three themes of naturally active, naturally stimulating and naturally relaxing. For more information see www.forestry.gov.uk/england-activewoods

* It is estimated that a dog accompanies one third of visitors to the countryside. Through the ‘Walkies in the Woods’ promotion, Forestry Commission England and the Kennel Club want to ensure that dogs and their owners experience healthy, responsible and above all enjoyable woodland visits. For more information please visit www.forestry.gov.uk/england-dogs