As the country continues in lockdown, Northumberland Wildlife Trust is renewing its call to members of the public still accessing its reserves to walk their dogs, to use the public footpaths, take extra care and keep them on leads.
With fewer people around it is tempting to let dogs off the lead, but dog walkers do need to remember that the wildlife charity still has sheep grazing on many of its sites and they must be kept under close supervision. Dog control is particularly vital now as it is the time of year when nesting birds are vulnerable to disturbance by both dogs and people.
The plea comes following recent dog attacks on its sheep at its reserves at Holywell Pond in North Tyneside and East Chevington at Druridge Bay.
The Trust is concerned that attacks of this sort could happen again. It continues to undertake checks on sites, particularly those with sheep and ponies grazing, but the reduced presence of staff and volunteers could leave animals injured for longer than normal.
Speaking about dogs on its reserves at this time, Duncan Hutt, Northumberland Wildlife Trust’s Head of Conservation and Living Landscape says: “These are difficult times for all of us as our staff numbers are limited, so we are appealing to everyone to be extra careful to protect livestock and wildlife. It is worth remembering that if a dog is seen worrying livestock, the landowner can legally destroy it – which nobody wants to see happen.”