National Trust Rangers are urging dog owners to ensure their dogs are kept on a short lead this spring on Marsden Moor, to protect wildlife and livestock.
The plea comes after a number of moorland fires over the last two years damaged important bird habitat, making this spring a particularly crucial time for wildlife.
From 1st March until 31st July, dogs must be kept on a short lead (up to 2m) to avoid
disturbing the rare birds like Lapwing, Curlew and Golden Plover which build their
nests deep in the grasses on Marsden Moor, meaning they’re often hidden from sight.
It’s also a crucial time for farmers, as sheep and cows go back on the moors with their
young. Pregnant ewes are also particularly vulnerable; if they’re disturbed, they may
miscarry their lambs.
Craig Best, countryside manager for the National Trust, said, “We really want people to be
able to enjoy walking on the moors with their dogs. At this time of year, it’s important for both
dogs and their owners to keep to the paths to give our rare breeding birds the best chance.”
He added, “Farmers that graze their livestock on the moors also appreciate dogs being on
leads at this time. Many sheep are pregnant or have young lambs. It’s really distressing for
the animals when they’re chased by dogs.”
“Over the past decades, we’ve worked really hard to give nature the best chance on the
moors by restoring plant biodiversity. Dog owners can really help us with our efforts to look
after our wildlife.”
For more details about the National Trust’s work, visit: www.nationaltrust.org.uk/marsden-moor-estate