We favour public access to our nature reserves on foot, for quiet enjoyment of the wildlife and countryside. This is not always possible, for reasons including health and safety concerns or the need to protect fragile habitats. Restricted access and permit only reserves are clearly designated online and in the Nature Reserves Guide.
Dogs on Reserves and Livestock
Dogs are permitted on most of our nature reserves, however owners are reminded that dogs can cause significant disturbance to wildlife and livestock. Dogs must be kept under close control at all times and owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.
We are implementing a dogs on nature reserves ‘traffic light’ system, so please look out for advisory signs on site. If dogs are permitted and you walk through an area with livestock, please:
• Take care, keep your distance
• Avoid getting between animals and their young
• Please keep your dog on a short lead or at your side
• If ponies or cows approach, let your dog off the lead
Please contact us if you are unsure, and before starting out on your journey, to avoid disappointment.
Please follow the Countryside Code: Respect, Protect, Enjoy
Respect other people:
• Consider the local community and other people enjoying the outdoors
• Leave gates and property as you find them and follow paths unless wider access is available
Protect the natural environment:
• Leave no trace of your visit and take your litter home
• Keep dogs under effective control
Enjoy the outdoors:
• Plan ahead and be prepared
• Follow advice and local signs
Enjoy Your Visit
Some of the paths on some of our nature reserves can be muddy, rough and slippery at times and low lying sites can be flooded in times of heavy rainfall. We will issue alerts if any nature reserve is impassable, but please contact us if you are unsure, and before starting out on your journey. Please wear appropriate clothing suitable for bad weather and wet/rough ground.
Our nature reserves are special, wild places that are often remote from human habitation, do not have easy access and have challenging terrain. We try to ensure that risks to visitors are kept to a minimum, however there are hazards on our nature reserves that are not always obvious, for example sudden drops. On our busier nature reserves, we highlight any hazards on our interpretation panels, but smaller nature reserves do not usually have any information or interpretation on site. We would really like you to enjoy your visit, so please be mindful of the likely hazards.