Friday, 7 March 2014

Could Your Dog Be The Face of Paws Outdoors?

Forestry Commission England is launching its new Paws Outdoors campaign at Crufts this week (Friday 7 March), supported by the Kennel Club, to encourage more owners to take their dog for a day out in the forest.

The campaign includes the publication of new local dog-friendly guides, a dog-walking awareness week and events at Forestry Commission sites across the country. The search is also on to find a star dog to become the face of the campaign.

The Paws Outdoors campaign is launched as the Forestry Commission, the Kennel Club, and Natural Resources Wales celebrate ten years of working together by signing a new concordat at Crufts to promote opportunities for responsible dog-walking in UK forests (see ).

We are entering Leonard...
look at his face...
who could say no to that face!
Now dog owners are being asked to nominate their well-behaved pet as a contender to become the dog face of the Paws Outdoors campaign.
Families and owners who think their dog can inspire others to taste the freedom of the forest are asked to email, tweet or post to Facebook a photo with up to 20 words describing why their pet should become top dog.
To enter the competition to :
Twitter: @ForestryCommEngFacebook:
Ruff Guide To The Forest
To help dog walkers to make the most of days out at its sites, the Forestry Commission is also publishing its new Ruff Guide to the Forest, a series of lively online guides offering practical, local information on dog-friendly activities in over 35 woods and forests and their surrounding areas.

The Forestry Commission is also announcing England’s first Walk Your Dog Week, which takes place from Monday 28 April to Monday 5 May 2014. The awareness week will encourage dog owners to get into the habit of giving their pets more regular exercise, including time off the leash when appropriate, to improve their health and well-being and reduce dog obesity.

A recent report found that fewer dogs than ever before are getting enough exercise, with 35% of UK dogs (2.7m) not getting daily supervised exercise, an increase of around 600,000 since 2011. This lack of exercise, coupled with poor diets has resulted in obesity levels of around a third in the UK’s dog population.

Every person in England is never more than a thirty minute drive away from a Forestry Commission woodland. Discovery Pass holders get free parking and discounts at forest fitness classes for a whole year - for less than the average cost of one month’s gym membership. 

Forests are already a favourite location for many dog walkers, with over 20 million visits to Forestry Commission sites by dog walkers each year. The Paws Outdoors campaign aims to build on this popularity and will include a number of on-site activities throughout the year. Many Forestry Commission woods and forests have dog agility trails, events and hundreds of way-marked trails that offer physical challenges for dogs and owners.

For more information, visit

The Ruff Guide to the Forest is available at

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