Access and Recreation
The Department strives to maximise the public’s enjoyment of the countryside through encouragement of recreational use of its estate. This is balanced with the need to protect the fabric of the countryside and acknowledge its roles as a workplace, a valuable conservation resource and a national asset.
Dog owners are welcome and encouraged to use the majority of the Department's glens, plantations and lands. However, dog owners must be aware of the dangers of allowing their dogs off the lead. Other users can find boisterous dogs intimidating and there are also particular risks of allowing dogs off the lead on hill land and near farmland. Any dog, regardless of breed, size or temperament is capable of causing considerable injury to livestock, in particular to ewes and lambs. In addition, disturbance to nesting wildlife can severely upset the success of the breeding season. This is likely to be a threat to ground-nesting birds and in the spring and early summer months in particular.
Legal proceedings can be taken against persons who do not exercise adequate control of dogs and severe penallties can be imposed.
Please follow the Department's Dog Walking Code at all times. A copy of this can be downloaded below