Avon Heath Country Park welcomes responsible dog owners and although the site is home to some rare wildlife, it is felt that through working together it is possible to ensure the heath is a good home to the wildlife as well as a good place for walking the dog.

Please follow the Dorset Dogs 'Doggy Do Code' when visiting the park.

For the welfare of all visitors, the wildlife and dogs, Avon Heath also requires dog walkers to adhere to the following restrictions whilst walking their dogs at Avon Heath:

  • dogs should be trained reliably to come to heel, or the dog should be kept on a lead.
  • dogs should be within 15m of the owner/walker and in site at all times, ensuring that they remain on paths designated as permissible for dog walking, and that you will put your dog on a lead if asked by staff. 
  • all dog owners must clean up after their dogs, use the dog bins on site or remove the waste from the park.
  • anyone bringing more than 3 dogs to the park must keep them on leads at all times.  No commercial dog walking is permitted.
  • dogs must be kept on a lead in all the car parks, and around the play area and playing field on North Park. 
  • for you and your dog’s safety please be aware that vehicles use the tracks in the park throughout the day. 
  • consider other visitors to the park. Although you know your dog may be friendly, others do not. Please do not let it run up to other visitors.
  • the park is home to adders; if dogs are off the lead and exploring the heather they may be at risk of being bitten between April and October.

Extra care

British white cattle are grazed across the site. Whilst they are a placid breed, if you are in any doubt as to how your dog would behave around the cattle, please take this into consideration when choosing where to walk. 

Ground nesting birds and reptiles at Avon Heath 

  • between March and September, we see the return of Nightjars, Woodlark and other ground nesting birds. Nests and their contents are very vulnerable, and we ask visitors to adhere to notices on the park at this time, restricting dogs to paths and keeping them out of the heather until the birds have fledged
  • all 6 species of native reptile live and breed at Avon Heath and are particularly active between March and September
  • for you and your dogs safety, you are advised to keep your dog out of the heather and stick to the main paths
  • you may be asked to keep your dog on a lead during the bird nesting season

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