Top Tips for your visit
Top Tips when visiting the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty:
- RESPECT wildlife, the environment and local communities. Park in designated car parks
- SUPPORT local businesses. Extend your visit; shop, stay and explore more
- ENJOY the scenery. Use public transport, bike or walk; visit off-peak to avoid the crowds
- PROTECT the area. Keep dogs under control and take you litter home with you
- RELAX and explore the lesser known parts at a leisurely pace
Read more about the Countryside Code
I'm a Good Dog - Campaign for Responsible Dog Ownership in the Dedham Vale
All dog owners think ‘my dog is the best behaved dog in the world and never gets into trouble’! However, uncontrolled dogs (or is it their owners?) are (often inadvertently) a threat to wildlife and to the quality of the recreational experience in the Dedham Vale AONB. Dog owners often feel unwelcome to the countryside. At some access points signage may discourage, especially if not updated and maintained. The aim of the ‘ I’m a good Dog Scheme’ in the Dedham Vale AONB is to innovatively and positively inform responsible dog owners that they are welcome in our AONB BUT that not controlling their pets (or themselves) spoils the AONB for wildlife, other people and their pets and can have serious consequences.
National research shows that between a third and a half of countryside visitors have a dog with them. The UK’s 6 million pet dogs provide many social and health benefits. However, there are concerns about problems caused by irresponsible owners to sensitive wildlife and the UK’s finest landscapes, such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
In the Dedham Vale the Project has received reports from landowners and visitors to the area about dogs out of control and dog mess. The Dedham Vale AONB Visitor Management Group decided that it was important to ensure all visitors and locals who walked in the area should have a positive experience and so applied for funding to implement an ‘I’m a good dog’ initiative in the area, particularly in Constable Country(Dedham, East Bergholt and Flatford) where these issues are greatest. This scheme has been developed on the back of a similar successful project in the Suffolk Coast and Heaths.
The aim of the scheme is to encourage responsible dog walking behaviour through signage, training, dog walks, promotional material and publicity.