Dog walking on our nature reserves
There's a reason not all of our nature reserves are dog-friendly
Our nature reserves are special places. Through sensitive management, dedicated conservation work and the passion of our staff, volunteers and supporters, we ensure they continue to give wildlife a safe haven in which to live, feed and breed.
Our nature reserves are also the perfect spot for a peaceful walk. On our dog-friendly nature reserves, you can even bring your four-legged friend to appreciate nature with you. All we ask is that you keep your fluffy companion on a lead and under close control when dog walking in these vital wildlife refuges, so you, your dog and the creatures around you can all enjoy our wild places.
Why aren’t all our nature reserves dog-friendly?
Dogs are beloved companions and part of the family, but to wildlife they’re a big and scary predator. Asking you to keep your dog on a lead, or reserving some wild places solely for wildlife, ensures the creatures living there are free from disturbance.
There are lots of responsible dog owners, but unfortunately, just one dog running loose could cause a ground-nesting bird to leave its nest, or a reptile to use vital, hard-earned energy fleeing into the undergrowth. Ultimately, this kind of disturbance can impact wildlife populations.
Some of our nature reserves simply aren’t safe for dog walkers due to uneven or boggy ground and hidden pools or ditches, while at others, we have grazing animals that would get stressed by an altercation with a dog, no matter how friendly the dog’s intentions.
Other nature reserves in our region are home to particularly fragile habitats and types of plants, and are at risk from invasive species. The seeds of these invaders could be spread across the reserve on a dog’s fur, while other sensitive plants are at risk from trampling.
Dog walking checklist
If you’re planning on treating your pooch to a stroll at one of our dog-friendly nature reserves, please remember this checklist.
Which of our nature reserves are dog-friendly?
If you’re looking for dog-friendly days out where you can spend time in nature with your faithful friend by your side, try one of these dog-friendly nature reserves where you can walk your pooch on their lead.
- Aughton Woods, Lancaster
- Barnaby’s Sands and Burrows Marsh, Wyre
- Cross Hill Quarry, Clitheroe
- Foxhill Bank, Oswaldtwistle
- Freshfield Dune Heath, Formby
- Haskayne Cutting, Ormskirk
- Heysham Moss, Morecambe
- Highfield Moss, Wigan
- Longworth Clough, Bolton (please be aware of grazing animals)
- Lunt Meadows, Maghull
- Mere Sands Wood, Ormskirk
- Middleton Nature Reserve, Heysham
- Moston Fairway, Manchester
- Pleasington Old Hall Wood, Blackburn
- Salthill Quarry, Clitheroe
- Warton Crag, Carnforth
- Wigan Flashes, Wigan