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Access with dogs

Going for a walk with your dog is permitted by access rights and such use of the outdoors is one of the most common reasons for the public getting out and about.   Dog walkers use their local walks frequently,often daily and sometimes more than once a day, and this improves the mental and physical health of the population.   However dogs can create some issues ranging from boisterous beheaviour in public parks, dog fouling and worrying/killing of farm animals.  

Your main responsibilities are:

Farm animals:

  • Never let your dog worry or attack farm animals
  • Don't take your dog into fields where there are lambs, calves or other young farm animals
  • If you go into a field of farm animals, keep your dog(s) on a short lead or close at heel and keep as far as possible from the animals
  • If cattle react aggressively and move towards you, keep calm, let the dog go and take the shortest, safest route out of the field


  • Don't take your dog into fields of vegetables or fruit unless there is a clear path, such as a core path or right of way, and keep your dog to the path

Ground nesting birds:

  • During the breeding season (usually April-July) keep your dog on a short lead or close at heel in areas such as moorland, forests, grasslands, loch shores and the sea shore to avoid disturbing birds that nest on or near the ground

Recreation areas and public places:

  •  avoid causing concern to others by keeping your dog close at heel or on a short lead

Dog waste:

  • Pick up and remove your dog's faeces if it defecates in a public open place